Lilies forum: How to ship lilies

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Name: Peggy
Missouri (Zone 6a)
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hazeleyes
May 29, 2013 12:28 PM CST
I am doing some plant swapping and will be shipping lilies.
What is the best way to prepare and ready them for shipping?
If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.
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Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
May 29, 2013 8:01 PM CST
When do you plan to ship? Not now, while they're growing, I hope. Unless it is a real emergency, lilies should not be moved while they are actively growing during the Spring and Summer. The best time to dig and move (ship) is in the Fall after the leaves have turned yellow and fallen. Digging and shipping lilies while they are still in the green is hardly, if ever successfull, so please wait until they're ready.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
May 30, 2013 5:55 PM CST
Likely, what would happen is the dug and shipped lily would soon die back, bulb still intact, and come up next year. But it would grow to a much small size than previous. From then on it would grow normally. If the receiver is good with that, then I'd say okay. The correct genetics will always be there, but the plant has been through a lot of trauma.

Digging and transplanting growing lilies from one garden to another (your own or a neighbor's - no shipping involved) is more doable, but still will have noticeable, but more acceptable consequences.

Martagons may be the exception. Eugene Fox says in his book that a good time to transplant martagons is after flowering. This, of course, would not include shipping though. The idea is that transplanting in the active bulb and root growth stage (not top growth) will suppress the sulking tendency of the species in the ensuing season. Thus, there is no tendency to spend the first full growing season completely underground without sending up a shoot. Top growth in the first season is virtually assured.

I have to say, this seems to be true. For two years I had transplanted Claude Shride martagon bulbs into pots in the fall after tops died back. I wanted to sell them at our NARGS plant sale. All three times the bulbs did not send up shoots the first year, but did the second. Last year I transplanted in August (later than Fox's suggestion) while the top was still healthy looking. Subsequent growth is still abbreviated, but the result seems to be telling: pics taken today.

Thumb of 2013-05-30/Leftwood/7124f9 Thumb of 2013-05-30/Leftwood/2e1675

Plant sale is Saturday.
N.B. No pulling of the old stalk this time! Big Grin
Name: Peggy
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Pied Piper of Weeds
Daylilies Dragonflies Roses Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies
Winter Sowing Permaculture Irises Keeper of Poultry Cottage Gardener Bee Lover
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hazeleyes
May 30, 2013 7:27 PM CST
They had already sent their trade so I was obligated to follow through. I shipped them like live plants, roots wrapped in wet newspaper.
Did the best I could with what info I had.
If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Missouri-Wildflowers/40601218...
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
May 30, 2013 8:03 PM CST
That is a very nice, healthy looking Claude Schride!

Actually, I think Eugene Fox's idea of moving a lily 'right after blooming' from garden to garden or to neighbor works for most common commercial lilies--as long as the plant is moved in a large clump with the roots undisturbed as much as possible. 'Right after blooming' is kind of a key phrase there.

As far a shipping live lily plants, I have both shipped and received bare root live lily plants in thick cylinderical cardboard shipping tubes. Plants are dug, bulbs washed and dried saving all roots, then dusted with captan, etc. Then bulb and roots are placed in a food vegitable storage bag and then filled with dry perlite. Close with a rubber band. The tops are bent to fit the tube which will result in a kink which later can be cut off or taped back up with a splint.. Wrap the entire plant loosely with newspaper, seal and ship first class with proper labeling (live plant, etc) So it can and is done--but as you say, the bulbs will survive but will result in much smaller growth the next year. I would only recommend it to lily hobbyists.
Name: Peggy
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Pied Piper of Weeds
Daylilies Dragonflies Roses Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies
Winter Sowing Permaculture Irises Keeper of Poultry Cottage Gardener Bee Lover
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hazeleyes
May 31, 2013 3:48 AM CST
Next time It will be done in the fall. I took every precaution to make sure they survived the trip even if they are smaller I am sure she will be happy with them.

I think everyone for there advise and help.
If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Missouri-Wildflowers/40601218...
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
May 31, 2013 4:55 AM CST
Oh sure--they'll most likely be OK. I lady shipped me a lily wrapped in wet newspaper once (and it even had a full head of buds) and it lived for me. It's just not the kind of advise I would give somebody I don't know. I don't like shipping live plants but sometimes one doesn't have a choice if you want the plant bad enough. Did you know that lilies grown in the forcing and cut flower industry are different than those same lilies we grow in our gardens? (the kinds you see at weddings, funerals, etc.) They are grown from specially selected cloned bulbs that produce long skinny stems with very few leaves to make floral arrangements easy and more flexible. I like to have a few around to cut for the house so I get those from time to time from a 'forcer' and he ships them to me after they get done blooming. The price is right (free). But we use the method I descibed above. So I have 'skinny' versions of Stargazer, Starfighter, Rio Negro and a few white ones growing--it takes another year for the bulb to recover and aclimate after the forcing, but kinda fun to have around.

Edit added: I was going to say that when shipping 'live' lily plants, you want to keep everything dry as possible. The greenery will live off the reserves in the bulb. The main thing to avoid is excess build up of moisture to lower the risk of fungus and mold. Bulbs sweat, plants sweat, so plenty of moisture is generated within the close container that hopefully gets absorbed by the dry perlite and dry newspaper. This is contrary to what most people would first think. I know the first thing I'd automatically think of is the poor plant will need water to survive along the way. That's not the case with lilies.

Thanks for sharing your experience; a pleasant 'change of topics' on this forum we all enjoy. Be sure to let us know how things work out.
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - May 31, 2013 5:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Peggy
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Pied Piper of Weeds
Daylilies Dragonflies Roses Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies
Winter Sowing Permaculture Irises Keeper of Poultry Cottage Gardener Bee Lover
Image
hazeleyes
May 31, 2013 5:38 AM CST
Oh so I should have done it like daylilies when I ship them to hot places I clean and dry them a day before shipping.
If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Missouri-Wildflowers/40601218...
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
May 31, 2013 6:03 AM CST
Yeppers. It's important to not trim the lily back tho--keep everything intact, except for the buds (if budded), those should be removed. And then ship early in the week, of course--which you already know.

Do you really have hazel eyes? I do!
Name: Peggy
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Pied Piper of Weeds
Daylilies Dragonflies Roses Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies
Winter Sowing Permaculture Irises Keeper of Poultry Cottage Gardener Bee Lover
Image
hazeleyes
May 31, 2013 6:29 AM CST
Green with gold flecks,the name was from 2004 and my first character on a online game Big Grin
If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Missouri-Wildflowers/40601218...
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
May 31, 2013 6:50 AM CST
I see.

Listen now--I still don't recommend shipping live lily plants but only in situations that warrent it, Shipping lily bulbs in the Fall is always first choice, Spring is next best.
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - May 31, 2013 7:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
May 31, 2013 8:08 AM CST
Those with thick roots or tubers and bulbs, definitely ship dry (daylilies, lilies, dahlias, iris, hosta, etc.). Those with only fine roots (epimedium, dianthus, astrantia, etc.) I would ship with the moisture content that comes would come naturally from a moist soil, as if just dug, and no extra moisture added. All of the workhorse microscopic root hairs will die (as always), but they regenerate quickly. It's the larger roots we need to keep intact.

Regarding my previous martagon post, I neglected to add that I have never had sulking when I replant directly into the garden, rather than a pot. (Realize too, that I have never bought a martagon type lily that needed to be shipped.) In this pic, the first three rows (in front) were transplanted fall 2011, and all came up the following spring. Row 1- L. (martagon type) 'Super Tsing',Row 2 - asiatic crosses, mostly from seed from Øystein, Row 3, L. martagon 'Claude Shride' and L. (martagon type) 'Terrace City'.

Thumb of 2013-05-31/Leftwood/4c3567

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