The Q&A Archives: Identify & Transplant Lilies

Question: I purchased a home last November & found lilies coming up in an area that doesn't get much sun and is a high foot traffic area. I know they are lilies, by the leaf stem, but they never grew more than 6" or bloomed. I have dug them up and am transplanting them in a sunny location in my backyard (sandy loam), for the time being. I plan to cover them with maple leaves over the winter.
My questions are: 1. How do I identify what kind of lily they are. 2. Will they bloom this next year. 3. Where is the best place to plant them and when do I fertilize them?
Thank you.

Answer: You've probably done your lilies a big favor by moving them to another location, where they'll get the sun exposure they crave. Identifying them may or may not be difficult - there are hundreds of hybrids available! When they do bloom, which I suspect they will now that they've been transplanted, you can compare the flowers with pictures of named species and hybrids. Lily pictures and descriptions can be found in the catalog from B & D Lilies, P. O. Box 2007, Port Townsend, WA 98368 (360)-765-4341 (360)-765-4074, or by visiting the following website:

Lilies prefer growing in rich, moist soil that remains cool and they like their heads in full sun or partial afternoon shade. Planting yours in sandy loam should make them happy. Apply a few inches of organic matter over the root zone to regulate soil temperature, and water as needed to keep the soil moist, but not soggy wetduring the growing season. You can fertilize in the spring after new growth begins, using a balanced 10-20-20 fertilizer.

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