Ask a Question forum: Oriental Lily leaves turn yellow while blooming

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Name: Andries Potgieter
South AFrica
pottie86
Dec 15, 2015 11:05 PM CST
Hi. Not sure if this is normal. A while back I bought Oriental Lily from my local supermarket because they were beautiful. MY First Lily. They started to bloom 2 days ago but I noticed that my bottom leave are turning yellow is this normal? the pot itself is about 10 inch wide and they planted 3 bulbs. My plan was to separate them after they bloomed but I do not want to loose them before that. They are outside its under neath a small patio roof due to our high temperature in SA at the moment, i am afraid the extreme heat and direct sunlight will damage it
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Dec 16, 2015 6:30 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP!

I'm not an expert on Lilium but in general when the oldest (bottom in this case) leaves on a plant turn yellow the first possibilities that come to mind are nitrogen deficiency or normal ageing. In case you'd like to post your question there, All Things Plants also has a forum specifically just for lilies:

http://garden.org/forums/view/lilies/
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Dec 16, 2015 7:07 AM CST
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(I rotated your photo.)

Your plant may be getting too much water and/or it could be stressed by having to move from the nice comfortable grocery store environment to the heat outside.

I looked on the Lilies Forum and will use the @ to call a few people to view your question; maybe they can give more information:
@valleylynn
@Catmint20906
@piksihk
@pirl
@robertduval14


Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Dec 16, 2015 10:01 AM CST
@pardalinum also may be able to help. She grows lots of lilies.

Thank you for the call out greene, and the nice photo rotation. Thumbs up

Hi Andries, and a big Welcome! to All Things Plants.
I think it is a good idea that you gave it some protection from the scorching heat/sun. Going from a pampered environment to the big harsh outside world might be to much for it.
Great photo of a beautiful plant. I see why you wanted it. And just look at all those buds still to open.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
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pardalinum
Dec 16, 2015 12:14 PM CST
Lilium leaves age naturally from the bottom up. You can usually expect some lower leaf loss during the growing season.

Greene is correct in that overwatering will hasten this loss. You want to keep the leaves as long as possible so as to bolster the bulbs for the next season. Also keep in mind that too much water plus high heat can result in bulb rot and loss of bulbs.

Lilies need some water up till bloom time then cut back as the plant rests for the remainder of the season. The growing mix must be free draining so that when you water it runs right through the mix and out the bottom, leaving the mix just damp. Oriental lilies are the latest lilies to bloom, I'm guessing around February in the southern hemisphere once established in the ground. So they will need water up until then, then infrequently afterward.

Lynn is correct about scorching heat/sun. Oriental lilies in particular dislike high heat. If your summer is very hot (90F, 30-35C) you will want to plant these lilies out where they get just morning sun or dappled shade. They like at least one half a day of sun to do well.

They do not need any fertilizer now. These florist lilies have already been prepped with all the plant food they need for now. Also too much nitrogen will cause bulb rot. I fertilize my lilies when they emerge from the soil in the spring and again just before the blooms start to open. Using a low nitrogen fertilizer is best. I use a granular vegetable fertilizer (5-10-10) when the stems are just a few inches out of the ground. About a tablespoon sprinkled on the soil over the bulb is enough, then water in. It is slow release so it won't dissolve all at once.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Dec 16, 2015 8:24 PM CST
Thank you Connie. Now I know what to do for my lilies next year when they start appearing.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Dec 16, 2015 10:32 PM CST
Likely combination of environment change and natural leaf loss hastened on by the environmental change.

@pottie86 - I assume this was indoors in air conditioning? Or were they outside?
Certainly shield from the blasting all day sunlight. But Orientals do like sun, so don't protect it too much.

Frankly - that plant looks pretty good to me.

Being a "supermarket" plant who knows also how hard it was pushed to bloom. Often that stresses a plant and that may be a minor factor. Given where you are, I agree with Connie that this is blooming several months earlier than normal.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976

pcnewman1963
Jul 31, 2016 4:27 PM CST
Can someone help me figure out what these are on my lilies? They all have these little buds with sprouts coming out of them. Should I harvest them and plant them?

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jul 31, 2016 4:39 PM CST
@pardalinum I do not have much knowledge when it comes to lilies, but Connie sure knows lilies. Maybe she can answer your question.
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
Jul 31, 2016 4:44 PM CST
They are aerial bulbils, basically little bulbs that emerge from the leaf axils of some types of lilies. Since they are putting out green leaves go ahead and remove and plant them if they easily disconnect.

Do you know the name of the lily?

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