Lilies forum: Bummed out

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Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Joebass
Oct 7, 2014 3:38 PM CST
A lot of my lilies are literally covered in aphids! I don't ever recall seeing it so bad. I feel helpless too because they are all over and even if I sprayed them it would take hours as they are seemingly under every leaf. I sprayed them with a dish soap and water mix which hardly seemed to make a dent. I was at least ok that they didn't make my it to my seedling rack......until today when I saw them on my L. regale album seedlings. I worry about them transferring viruses and such. Is this something that a lot of you deal with or am I in big trouble over here.
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Oct 7, 2014 4:53 PM CST
Joe, aphids are never good but if it were me I wouldn't get too uptight about it at this point and time of year. Here's why. Aphids can't spread a virus if there isn't any to spread. Knowing you, you keep a pretty close watch over your lilies for a virus so I doubt if you have any infected plants, at least not any that show apparent symptoms. Second, viruses don't spread throughout the plant at the snap of a finger. they travels slowly. At this time of year, a lilies metabolism is slowing to a crawl which would slow down the virus travel even more. And, in a couple more weeks you'll be cutting the stems anyway. BUT, HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW WITHOUT ANY NEGATIVE IMPACT WHATSOEVER: Cut all the stems on your mature size plants off now to the same level you normally would later and throw them in the garbage. Don't worry about bulb size--they're done growing for the year anyway and it won't hurt them a bit. Don't believe it? Last year I ran an experiment on 2 Anaconda and 2 Moonlight cut early on Sept 16th. They were dug in early Nov. and compared to 2 control bulbs of each which were allowed to go uncut. There was no noticeable or even measurable difference in bulb diameter of those cut early and those that weren't. What about performance? The cut early test plants were then planted in a row in a 1-2-1-2 pattern. This past summers height and bud count were, for all practical purposes the same. The only way I could tell what was what, was to look at the label. This would leave you with only your youngest, smallest plants and this years seedlings to deal with--and I think you can handle that Rolling on the floor laughing
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Oct 7, 2014 5:08 PM (+)]
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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
Oct 8, 2014 6:30 AM CST
The reason I ran that little experiment above is because I know growers cut their stems in Sept. And, they do this so the stub dries enough to be harmlessly removed for shipping in Oct.. My question was: how much growth and size are they actually losing by doing this? The answer: none or very little.

It also removed a doubt in my mind about whether or not I could start moving plants around earlier in the Fall season. For instance, a major move of a couple hundred, I could spread the workload out and take advantage of the nicer early Fall weather. This year was an off year for me but next year I'll be into one of those 'big digs'---and I'll be cutting stems early.
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
Oct 8, 2014 6:36 AM CST
Application of soap and water would have been lickety-split if you had used a hose end sprayer. Smiling
Next time, you'll be ready.

Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Joebass
Oct 8, 2014 5:01 PM CST
Thanks guys. I guess I didn't want to be to heavy handed with the soap Rick. I guess you have to meet heavy artillery with heavy artillery!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 13, 2014 5:21 PM CST
Last year I noticed the same thing on a few OTs in October. It freaked me out, they were covered! Some were right next to the path at eye level, so I think it happened pretty quickly. I did as Lorn recommended and cut them back. They were fine this year.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

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