Lilies forum: Best method for transplanting WNA lily seedlings?

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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
Mar 7, 2015 11:59 AM CST
I received a bunch of WNA (Western North American) lily seed in the fall and have gotten great germination in baggies with vermiculite. Some are growing small roots but no leaves yet. When is the best time and way to transplant with minimal loss. I have some L. washingtonianum, L. columbianum, L. Kelloggii, L. Pardalinum and others so I am hoping to get good survival rates for my seedlings.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Mar 7, 2015 12:07 PM CST

Moderator

Hopefully @BUGGYCRAZY Lisa will come along as she has probably grown all of these. I don't know about the vermiculite vs. other media; I don't think you can get it off the roots before transplant.
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
Mar 7, 2015 9:00 PM CST
The first time I grew WNA seed, I did it in baggies, too. I wanted to see the actual stages. It was really fun, and I transplanted when I saw the first leaf emerging out of the vermiculite. (The baggies stood upright.) This method proved pretty disastrous. The tiny plants are incredibly delicate and damage is so easily done. When you think about it, that the seed will only grow one leaf for the entire first season, gambling that you won't kill (at least) the emerging leaf is a dub idea. Well, that was me, and what can I say... everyone can make bad decisions with the best intentions.

Now, several years after that first experimentation, I am trying it again. In my mind, the best time for transplanting is right after germination, when their is little damage caused by handling.
So this is when:
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If I had caught these earlier, I would have:
Thumb of 2015-03-08/Leftwood/d34a3f

I would imagine the next best time would be anytime before the first leaf is sent up. If your seeds have not begun forming their tiny seed bulbs yet, that would be best. As you might expect, it's best to handle the plant by its seed, not the root, bulb or emerging leaf. If that time is missed, then if you are able to continue growing until the leaf has matured, I think that would be the next best time. Then I would handle by the leaf, as you would with regular flowers or vegetable seedlings.
Name: Michael Norberry
Arcata, CA Zone 9 or 17 suns (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: California Seed Starter Ponds
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mnorberry
Mar 15, 2015 2:54 PM CST
I have been trying to find as many of the WNA seeds as possible. They say there are 9 native lilies here in Humboldt. When I do germinate seeds this is what I do. Right/Wrong?

Germinate in baggies, use peat with captan (I start my seeds in Aug-Sept)
3 - 4 months room temperature (70's) 3-4 months refreig.

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When its time to plant, I go to the dollar store and pick up plastic containers and place the seedling w/their peat. Holes for good drainage.

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I cover with seed starter soil and make sure they don't dry out.

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If I only have a few germinated seeds I might put them in a gallon plastic container.

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I do fertilize approx once a month with liquid 1/2 amt. Also, I found that they don't like full sun. Once they are growing start watching, as some of them don't like moisture during the summer months.

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
Mar 15, 2015 4:24 PM CST
With the very nice results you have, it certainly can't be wrong! Bravo!

How long do you plan to keep them in those dollar store containers? It looks like maybe 2-3 inches of soil total? If that is the case, I'll bet they will grow even better with a greater depth, both under and above the bulbs.
Name: Michael Norberry
Arcata, CA Zone 9 or 17 suns (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: California Seed Starter Ponds
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mnorberry
Mar 16, 2015 12:39 PM CST
I normally leave my western seedling in the shoe box for at least 2 years. Here are photos of them.
Shuksan (Bellingham) x L. kelloggii F2 seeds from OBF . Originally planted in baggies 9/12. I did take a few out and planted in individual containers.

Thumb of 2015-03-16/mnorberry/523f53 Thumb of 2015-03-16/mnorberry/118570




Thumb of 2015-03-16/mnorberry/28af9a Thumb of 2015-03-16/mnorberry/457453

I have found out that if I repot them when they are real small I have over 50% loss.

Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Mar 16, 2015 8:15 PM CST
Wonderful--healthy looking plants. It's fun to see things like this when they turn out so well. Thumbs up Acorn
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
Mar 17, 2015 2:41 PM CST
Thanks for the tips guys! Mike they are from the seed you gave me. All had excellent germination! Anyway I transplanted every seed in to 1020 trays and covered them with seed starting mix further lightened with sand, perlite, and vermiculite. Only a few were starting to leaf out when I transplanted them and I was very careful with those that were. I had less than favorable results transplanting with some L. Kelloggii and WNA hybrids that I started a month and a half before most of my seeds.

Also should I expect more than one leaf the first growing season?
Name: Michael Norberry
Arcata, CA Zone 9 or 17 suns (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: California Seed Starter Ponds
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mnorberry
Mar 17, 2015 3:19 PM CST
Mostly 1 leaf. Check the photo of the 1 gallon container above.
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
Mar 23, 2015 4:52 PM CST
Well I am very excited to say that my transplanting of theses WNA seedlings has mostly been a success.
I had a batch off L. Kelloggii and some WNA hybrids from the seed exchange that didn't go so well when I transplanted them about 2 months ago. They were starting to sprout leaves and I tried to rinse the vermiculite off of them. In hindsight and also concurring with Rick, I believe the delicate nature of the seedlings and heavy handling contributed to their demise (or lack of sprouting a leaf). Also the medium was mostly potting soil amended with sand.
This larger batch of seedlings were handled differently due to this thread, the last batch, and your advice. I transplanted almost all of my seedlings into 1020 trays with holes on the bottom. I felted I needed to futz around with the seedlings less and have a lighter medium. I used some seed starter mix and further amended it with sand, perlite, and vermiculite. I placed the seedlings on top of the mix and added a light 1/4-1/2 inch max layer of more mix on top and watered from the bottom. After that I took a squirt bottle and watered the top lightly. To my dismay it appeared I over watered it as the peat base slowly soaks up the water. I then laid the trays on my kitchen table for a few days and before I knew it, leaves were popping up everywhere! It's been about 10 days and I have a long,long journey to get these to flower but I am ecstatic of these initial results.

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Name: della
hobart, tasmania
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dellac
Mar 23, 2015 5:10 PM CST
Hurray!
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
Mar 23, 2015 6:07 PM CST
Well done, Joe.
Thanks for taking the time to make such a detailed report. I appreciate it very much.
Name: Paul
Nullawarre, Victoria,Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia
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vanozzi
Mar 23, 2015 6:11 PM CST
Great stuff Joe!!! It's like the birth of a child, smiles all round.

I must admit, my results with WNA seedlings up to this point, have been dismal.Pity, because I raised some beauties when I resided in Tasmania, but on the mainland, virtually zilch.

I wonder about the wisdom of trying to wash any seed raising medium off from the delicate roots of any newly germinated seedling?
Different latitudes, different attitudes
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Mar 23, 2015 6:12 PM CST
A great success story with some really nice pictures! Real excitement! Thumbs up Acorn
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
Mar 23, 2015 6:41 PM CST
Paul, I don't know if I was clear but this time I didn't wash the roots of the attached vermiculite and I feel it was a positive. I also figured that as the roots grow, they will outgrow the covering of vermiculite and get the nutrients they need from the surrounding soil.
Name: Paul
Nullawarre, Victoria,Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia
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vanozzi
Mar 24, 2015 2:59 AM CST
G'day Joe, yes you were quite clear about your procedure.I was just wondering if anybody had suggested to you to wash the roots clear of vermiculite?

It's always so satisfying getting the results that you have achieved.

Last year I received a packet of (Foggy morning x OP) X Western hybrid from NALS, so rummaged around just now(it's nightfall here) to find it and take a picture.There maybe 8 seedlings surviving.
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Different latitudes, different attitudes
[Last edited by vanozzi - Mar 24, 2015 3:01 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #815240 (16)
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
Mar 24, 2015 8:00 AM CST
That doesn't look like "dismal results" to me!
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
Mar 24, 2015 8:03 AM CST
I don't think anyone did, Paul. I think I just took it upon myself to do something stupid which I do a lot! Confused
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
Mar 24, 2015 7:24 PM CST
It's true that plants grown in pots of one kind of soil that are transplanted into a drastically different air porosity soil will often have a tough time adapting (initially), unless steps are take to mitigate the transfer. But with these lilies, you're not transferring a pot of soil into another. Rather, it's basically just the roots with a minimal amount of media(vermiculite), so it doesn't apply.


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BUGGYCRAZY
Mar 26, 2015 9:27 PM CST
I started all of my WNA seed in deep, large flats with really well drained soil mix in the early fall since I lived where the climate was ideal for doing that and never disturbed them until they were about to die from crowding. I did top dress with fresh soil mix in the winter when they were dormant. They need 2 months at 60F followed by 2 mos or more at 35F then they put up a leaf when it gets warm again. And I did crowd the seedlings, if not enough seed for the flat I divided the flat into 2 and put other seed in the other side. Lily babies really like crowding when they are young and it rains 9 month of the year. I used a bark based mix with lots of pumice since perlite can emit fluorine gas and burn some lilies when it gets hot. Yes they were very heavy. Perlite can be used with orientals and trumpets, probably OT's but not Asiatics and longiflorums so I did not use it on the natives or other species seeds.

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