Lilies forum: Martagon seedling question re next cold period?

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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Nov 5, 2013 1:04 PM CST
I have the seedlings just out of the 'frig after their first cold period.
There are little "wheat" like bulbs and some are greening.
The plan is to keep them warm in a south winter sun until February when they should be chilled again.
My question is when they go back to cold---should they be encouraged to go dormant first? Or do I just place them out in the cold as they will be?
I have moved them from the plastic bags they were in the 'frig.
Now they are in plastic boxes of vermiculite and peat.
The plan is to move them in January into 2 liter juice containers of potting soil, before they go out to the cold in February.
Any comments and/or suggestions?
[Last edited by CarolineScott - Nov 5, 2013 1:06 PM (+)]
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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
Nov 6, 2013 6:35 PM CST
>>> There are little "wheat" like bulbs and some are greening.

Just wondering, do you meant the tiny bulbs are turning somewhat green, or are they growing green leaves?

Over your growing period, I am sure you realize that you will need to fertilize the peat/vermiculite mix.

>>> My question is when they go back to cold---should they be encouraged to go dormant first? Or do I just place them out in the cold as they will be?

Yes, encourage them first. If you have the ability to move them to 45-50F (7-10C) for two (or more) weeks and still with light, that would be best. If not, then put them in the fridge every night for at least 8 hours, increasing the time to 12 hours by the end of 2-3 weeks. The transfer to potting mix and liter containers should be done after this, and before putting outside in a protected, no direct sun location, with insulation covering to moderate temperature swings. Water very sparingly, remembering there will be a lot more natural condensation of free water as temps are reduced.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Nov 7, 2013 3:02 AM CST
Yes, there are green grass like sprouts showing up.
I take it that I should plan for them to go in the 'frig,---
and not outside for the second cold period.(It goes below freezing here in February)
I best keep them in the boxes until after the second cold period.
Yes, I was planning to give them dilute soluble fertilizer.
Thanks
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
Nov 7, 2013 8:50 AM CST
I kind of assumed that you wouldn't have room in the fridge for a full winter after the first green growth season. You are right: if it were me, I would just keep them in the fridge the whole time rather than transition them outside. Let the containers get very very dry in the fridge. When you guess that the container is very bone dry at least half way down from the surface, then put them in a plastic bag(s) and you should be able to forget about them inside the fridge until it's time to bring them out for their spring. Absolutely no condensation inside the bag is permissible. If this happens, open the bag inside the fridge. Too much moisture, of course can encourage bulb rot, but in this case, in could also produce early and erratic sprouting inside the fridge. A phenomenon that is difficult to deal with.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Nov 7, 2013 9:28 AM CST
Thanks-I probably would have kept them too moist.
I shall watch that when they are returned to 'frig.
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Nov 7, 2013 10:18 AM CST

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Sounds like things are going very well with your martagon seedlings. Happy for you Caroline. My experience with them in the refrigerator is a damp mix had worked best.
Tracey
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
Nov 7, 2013 12:13 PM CST
It is really surprising how plants can survive in cold temps with seemingly no moisture. I've even had seeds sprout in pots of soil that I would have sworn were way way to dry for a seed to germinate. Since all you need is for the bulb to have minimal dehydration, there is really no need for free liquid water to exist inside the bag in the fridge. I've learned this the hard way, as more and more I am overwintering questionably winter hardy plants and bulbs in the fridge, until I have enough to test outside. Oh my goodness, I just remembered I've accidentally left my calochortus seedlings outside!
Off to rescue them!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Nov 8, 2013 10:37 AM CST
I hope they are okay!

Yes, I used to always water everything the same---now I know different plants require
different amounts.
Thanks for the tip for these martagon babies.

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