Lilies forum: Hello and New to Lilies!

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Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 5, 2011 6:23 AM CST
Hello everyone,

After posting on DG wondering where all of the lily traffic had gone, I was directed to this forum (thank you DonnaMack, ge1836 and Leftwood!). I just signed up for All Things Plants and have been diligently reading through all of the posts. I had no idea this other forum existed! Now I know where everyone has been posting lately, LOL! I have lots and lots of lily questions so I might start posting them here.

I just moved into a property that has extremely well-drained deep sandy soil with lots of organic matter that I think will be perfect for lilies. If anything it is too well-drained and I will have quite a chore keeping them moist enough during the growing season. It is also on the alkaline side, so that rules out growing many of the Orientals (sigh). I do have a large raised bed in which I planted quite a few Lilium speciosum this fall (both rubrum and album) and sprinkled slow release garden sulfur over the surface, so I hope I can at least get them to establish and grow for a few years, especially if I remember to periodically adjust the pH of the bed.

I inherited a huge clump of upright Asiatics or LAs with the property that I dug up and divided this fall. I have no idea what color they are, but the clump yielded about 60 mature huge bulbs and numerous smaller bulblets. I hope I like it because it sure is prolific. But I do not think I like upright flower forms in general.

That said, I have gone lily crazy this fall and have placed huge orders with The Lily Garden (my absolute favorite), B-D, Old House Gardens, The Lily Pad and Van Engelen. I have been extremely happy with the quality of all of them. I have spent many hours outdoors rehabilitating my sadly neglected backyard and planting all of these lilies. Thanks to my friable, sandy soil, it was quite easy to plant them deeply, even with nothing more than a hand-held trowel.

I also just joined NALS to learn as much as possible. I have now read "Let's Grow Lilies" twice through as well as Ed McRae's wonderful book on lilies about three times through. I just can't get enough! :-)

Here are some lilies that I have planted:

Species: L. speciosum (mentioned above), L. henryi, L. pumilum, L. lancifolium 'Splendens' (planted in a somewhat isolated area), L. regale.

OTs: Anastasia, Alchemy, Silk Road, Scheherazade, Silver Scheherazade, Caravan, Sarabande, Black Beauty, Shocking, Satisfaction, Invasion, Robina, Hacienda, Conca d'Or, Leslie Woodriff, Carte Blanche

Trumpets/Aurelians: African Queen, Pink Perfection, Golden Splendor, White Henryi, Madame Butterfly (Mak)

LOs: Triumphator, El Condor

Asiatics: Ariadne, Eurydice, Eros, Karen North, Antique Lace, Rosepoint Lace, Peach Lace, Yellow Whoppers, Last Dance, Tiger Babies, Red Velvet, Midsummer's Eve

Cheers,
Corey
[Last edited by Ispahan - Nov 5, 2011 5:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Nov 5, 2011 9:00 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Welcome! Corey!
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
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gwhizz
Nov 5, 2011 6:02 PM CST
You sound about as crazily[in my case'pathetically'] addicted with liliums as all of us are Corey-welcome Thumbs up
lily freaks are not geeks!
Lincoln, NE
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Moby
Nov 5, 2011 6:24 PM CST
You certainly have been bitten by the bug ~ good for you! When all those beauties bloom it will be utterly enchanting. One caveat ~ protect your lilies from bunnies. Look for the granular Plantskydd or Repels-All.

Welcome!
Where are we going, and why am I in this hand-basket?
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Nov 5, 2011 6:45 PM CST
Hi Corey, welcome!

I garden on almost pure sand, at least it seems so. I do very little amending, and lilies do very, very well for me here. I'm 6a also.

I have no trouble growing the orientals, so don't count them out just because you're sandy. They normally don't last as many years here as the others do, though they last quite awhile.

You sure have gone lily crazy, and you're in good company. We have some true experts on here, and they can help with any questions you have.

Glad to have you here.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
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pardalinum
Nov 5, 2011 8:03 PM CST

Moderator

Hi Corey and welcome! So glad you found the migration route from DG Big Grin .

My gardens are heavy clay and some lilies have never done well here. In particular I am lucky to keep those lankongense hybrids for more than a year. They do not like being wet in the winter! These include Judith's Lace series, Chris North's hybrids and others. They may well do better for you in your sandy soil.

A few of us here like to grow lilies from seeds, and being a member of NALS gives you access to their seed sale. It is a very inexpensive way to acquire one of a kind lilies. Myself, I'm partial to those down facing lilies and I have grown a number of them from seeds.

I hope you have a camera and will post some photos come summer. Here in the Pacific Northwest we will have a long, dreary, wet winter so thinking of summer is a favorite pastime.
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Australia Lilies Seed Starter Bulbs
Plant and/or Seed Trader Hellebores Birds Seller of Garden Stuff Garden Art Cat Lover
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gwhizz
Nov 6, 2011 2:48 AM CST
I may be able to fill part of that void........only a couple of weeks now,..,and a 90 temperature did not help to slow things down til January-Even my cat is worn out with me watering this evening Blinking
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Nov 6, 2011 4:34 AM CST
Welcome Cory. Your "starer lily kit" sounds great. This is the enabler thread. Cant wait to see your summer 2012 photos.
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 6, 2011 8:57 AM CST
Hi all,

Thank you so much for your warm welcome. I look forward to sharing my lily experiences and learning as much as possible about this wonderful genus.

I joined NALS mainly because of the wonderful seed exchange, so I am really looking forward to selecting some special species, strains and hybrids to start from seed. I have seeds of Lilium regale and Lilium pumilum purchased from The Lily Garden that I hope to start under lights later this winter. I wanted to be sure to start out with a couple of "easy" immediate epigeal germinators.

Yesterday, I also joined the Lily Group of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (formerly Pacific Northwest Lily Society). Even though I will not be able to participate in the many wonderful club activities and field trips, I am really looking forward to the bulb sales, especially if The Lily Garden continues to participate. I also noticed that Faraway Flowers was a vendor this fall with a couple of mouth-watering martagons...

I have planted several hundred lily bulbs this fall. It is such a strange feeling to plant these wonderful bulbs and then look at bare empty earth (soon to be mulched) and snow for the next six months and then hope they survive and spring to life next year. I am almost afraid none of them will make it. I guess I just need to stop worrying and be patient.

Moby, I will be sure to get some Plantskydd or Repels-All next spring. Thank you for the tip! I have seen one or two bunnies, but I live right in the middle of the city so I probably don't have as many as most of you here. What I do have are armies of squirrels, hundreds of them. They are a plague. I am nervous they will dig up my bulbs, but luckily they only seem to dig 2-3 inches down and then stop. I tried to plant all of my lilies with at least 6-8 inches of soil overhead.

Polly, thank you for the information about Orientals. I do have nice sandy soil here, but it is alkaline, and that is one of the reasons I am hesitant. I do love 'Casa Blanca' and would love to grow it some day. I have planted several dozen Lilium speciosum in a raised bed, and if I can adjust the pH enough for them to grow well I will branch out into other Orientals. L. speciosum is one of the reasons I was drawn into the lily world so I hope I can be at least partially successful with it.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Nov 6, 2011 1:57 PM CST
I buy all my 'good' lilies from the growers, as you have mentioned above. But I also buy from the Netherlands bulb growers, for sales, just to cut, and some because I just like them. If you're concerned about being able to grow orientals, might I suggest grabbing a few from one of the co-ops. Then if they don't do well, or don't last, you're not out much. Not much going on now, but in spring we will have some good lily co-ops.

I've never had a problem with any co-ops done by Woodthrush or Mamajack.

Here's where you can find them.

http://garden.org/forums/view/groupbuys/

Now believe me, I am not recommending the co-ops or the Netherland growers as a first choice. Our growers have the best lilies there are. But if you wanted something cheap to try.....then buy the best after the cheap ones do well.
[Last edited by PollyK - Nov 6, 2011 3:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 6, 2011 3:35 PM CST
Polly, thank you for the information about the co-ops. I will keep them in mind. Now that I think of it, Van Engelen also offers really great prices on a handful of orientals, 'Casa Blanca' among them. Something like 25 bulbs for $43 or 50 for $77. It might be fun to do a mass planting of these even if they do turn out to be annuals for me. That will have to wait until next year though since my current budget can't absorb any more new lilies Smiling The other lilies I received from Van Engelen this fall were all huge and healthy bulbs, many even with live roots. Their Lilium speciosum rubrum and album bulbs were just as nice if not nicer than those that came from OHG, and OHG also sources their speciosums from Holland. I felt lucky that Van Engelen is also selling 'Anastasia' this fall (25 for $43), so of course I had to cave in. I just hope they are correctly labeled and it does not turn out to be some inferior Dutch clone with an 'Anastasia' label slapped on it.

Other orientals that I find to be very appealing are 'Journey's End' and 'Allegra'. I love their flower forms and coloring. Probably neither of these will ever be made available again, but I would grow them in a heartbeat. 'Salmon Star', Buggy's Queen series, 'July Snow' and Lilium auratum vav. platiphyllum (sp?) also look like beautiful flowers to me.

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, 2011 8:11 PM CST
"Immediate epigeal", you're already talking like a pro, Corey!

6-8 inches of soil above the bulb is pretty deep in normal soil, unless the are really big bulbs. But if you still have good drainage that deep, as you would with the sandy soil, there shouldn't be any problem. It does mean they will sprout later in the spring above the soil line, and finding the bulbs later for transplanting or removal will be that much more of a chore.

A note for everyone: when literature says to plant "X" inches deep, they measure from the soil surface to the where the bottom of the bulb will be.

Don't mulch too early, Corey. Wait for the soil to get cold. The point of the mulch is not to keep the soil warm, but to help prevent multiple freeze thaw cycles. I am in zone 4, and I won't be mulching for a couple weeks yet. Some years, what forces me to get my mulch spread is impending snow! Everyone looks for those early sprouts in the spring, but I like it when my mulch keeps the ground cold, and delays spring emergence. I never have to worry about late frosts or untimely cold spells.

Often times, rabbits are worse in residential areas. Keep a watch for bunny tracks through the winter.

Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 7, 2011 9:17 AM CST
Rick,

Thank you for the tips. I am a quick study and I do my homework, LOL! Smiling

I do have very sandy soil, so I hope I will not run into drainage problems. I researched online and in books before planting my bulbs, and I read that in sandy soil in colder climates it is better to err by planting too deeply rather than too shallow. It supposedly gives them added protection from frost heaves, keeps them cooler in the summer heat, and the bulbs will also spend less energy adjusting their depth since they tend to grow naturally deeper in light soils. I don't know if any of this is true. Since I have never grown lilies before, I hope I did not make a horrible newbie mistake.

In Ed McRae's book, he recommends planting as deeply as possible (covered with soil 3-4 times the depth of the height of the bulb from base to tip) and states that large bulbs can/should have 10 inches of soil covering them.

It has been such a warm fall here that I am not sure when will be the best time to mulch. We have not even had a frost yet of any kind.
central Illinois
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jmorth
Nov 7, 2011 10:10 AM CST
Welcome Corey,
Sounds like you'll be having an extensive display next summer.
J
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
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, 2011 7:59 PM CST
Didn't mean to scare you, Corey. Your depth is fine. Just that you didn't have to plant that deep. I've planted hybrid tulip bulbs twelve inches deep in lighter soils and they came up fine. Hybrid lilies are very forgiving.

I am finding that lilies are really a lot more cold hardy than people think, if they are happy. For orientals in the north, acid soils greatly improve cold hardiness, for example.
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Hybridizer Hummingbirder Salvias Bee Lover Bulbs
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Ispahan
Nov 8, 2011 10:36 AM CST
Rick, thank you for putting my mind back at rest! Smiling It will be easier to pass the winter without thinking that I suffocated my bulbs.

Jmorth, thank you for the welcome!
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 8, 2011 8:34 PM CST
I've been eying your avatar picture, Corey. It reminds me of an internet friend in Norway who's passion is wild edibles. His avatar on the NARGS forum is a salad of same. And he just posted a photo of a recent meal he had...

http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=274.1005
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
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pardalinum
Nov 8, 2011 8:40 PM CST

Moderator

That makes my cooked kale look pretty boring.
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Hybridizer Hummingbirder Salvias Bee Lover Bulbs
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Ispahan
Nov 10, 2011 2:21 PM CST
Cool link, Rick! My avatar is actually a plate of freshly harvested vegetables raised in EarthBoxes on the windy, west-facing balcony of a high-rise Chicago condo. That is where I was living before purchasing and moving to my new digs with an actual yard. Almost every day this summer I harvested a similar amount of veggies from my EarthBoxes. I had New Mexican chiles, eggplant, two types of tomatoes, strawberries, shelling peas, bush shelly beans and 4 types of heirloom pole beans (I love my beans).
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 10, 2011 6:34 PM CST
BTW Corey, if you want to see a lot of lily pics of species, go back to that link, click the "Home", and type "lilies anyone" in the search box.

I really need to grow more veggies again. Now I only have a couple tomatoes, garlic, green onions, malabar spinach, lilies, daylilies, rhubarb. It's nice to nibble when you're in the garden, and since I don't have any little kids next door anymore, it's all for me Big Grin . But I really don't have any more room! I've been threatening to move the rhubarb to its own place out of the garden proper - with 2.5ft leaf blades and a longer leaf stem, it takes up more than a 6x6ft area. That's a lot of real estate. Maybe 2012 will be the year...

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