Ask a Question forum: Lily bulbs multiplied TOO much!

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Apr 29, 2015 1:24 PM CST
Last year these bulbs were planted and a single stem grew. The plants were nice and neat.

This year they all are sprouting with 5+ stems and they are overtaking the area, one even grew under and through my fence no idea how to dig it up without damaging the fence and bulb.

Are new bulbs forming on the original bulb that causes new growth? I've never dug up lily bulbs and I'm not sure when or how to do this without killing it.
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Apr 29, 2015 1:54 PM CST
here is some info for you.

http://www.bdlilies.com/propagation.html

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/divide-lily-bulbs-41299.html

http://www.sunset.com/garden/garden-basics/dividing-bulbs
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 29, 2015 2:28 PM CST
If you plan to divide the clumps after the foliage starts to wither, it's a good idea to place markers near each clump now with the name and color or each type. That way you will know where to find each clump when the time comes.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Apr 29, 2015 2:32 PM CST
greene said:If you plan to divide the clumps after the foliage starts to wither, it's a good idea to place markers near each clump now with the name and color or each type. That way you will know where to find each clump when the time comes.



Can they safely be divided now before blooming?
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Apr 29, 2015 2:32 PM (+)]
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Apr 29, 2015 5:14 PM CST
You can divide them now but they may not bloom.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 29, 2015 5:57 PM CST
They look wonderful to me, I'd just fertilize and water them like crazy and divide them after the foliage dies back in the summer. You will have bouquets or a whole border of gorgeous flowers instead of single stems which can look sort of lonely!

The one that went under the fence could possibly be dug, separated and moved, if you dig very carefully and soon.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Apr 29, 2015 6:34 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:They look wonderful to me, I'd just fertilize and water them like crazy and divide them after the foliage dies back in the summer. You will have bouquets or a whole border of gorgeous flowers instead of single stems which can look sort of lonely!

The one that went under the fence could possibly be dug, separated and moved, if you dig very carefully and soon.


I forgot to ask, do I remove the scales too, are they forming these new plants?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 29, 2015 7:11 PM CST
Well, honestly I'm not sure. Lily bulbs are scaly bulbs when you get them. So, no I don't think you should remove any scales.

When you dig down to divide the plants after they die back, you will see whole new bulbs that have formed and it will be fairly obvious where and how to separate them.

Lilies can also form bulbils or bulblets ?? on their stems if I remember correctly. It's quite a while since I grew them in my garden in Utah, so hopefully somebody else will chime in here on the scale question.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 29, 2015 7:53 PM CST
Keith, Moonhowl gave you three links; did you read them yet? Most of the answers are covered.

http://www.bdlilies.com/propagation.html

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/divide-lily-bulbs-41299.html

http://www.sunset.com/garden/garden-basics/dividing-bulbs
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
Apr 29, 2015 8:27 PM CST
dont do any digging up or dividing now. they're too far along. give them a wee bit of bulb food just as the "eyes appear", then a wee bit more once the flowering is done. and don't remove the scales if you can avoid it. that's where the bulbs energy is stored. if you do remove some scales you can plant them and in a few years you'll have more new bulbs. probably take a good 3-4 year before they flower though. if you do decide to dig them up its a good idea to wait until the stems die back. you'll notice they've nearly doubled in size since you planted them and they have spawned all kinds of off shoots as well. we have left ours in the ground for 3-4 years at a time and they grow to be the size of grapefruits with stems that are nearly 1.5 inches thick. you will be able to clearly see where the bulbs "want" to be divided, if you choose to do so. the bulb will amazingly resemble a human brain. an oblong shape with a very distinct center groove down the middle telling you exactly where to separate the two halves. replant the new halves in the fall and next year you'll get a single stem per bulb again. the "bulbettes" spoken about above will darn near be full sized bulbs themselves. replant them as you see fit. free plants!!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Apr 30, 2015 8:11 PM CST
I just dug up 58 lilies, in clumps, because it was a choice - either the deer eat them or I get to see them bloom. Now they're in the rose garden, safe from the rotten deer.

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