Lilies forum: Are L. lankongense hybrids late to emerge?

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Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Apr 23, 2012 7:06 PM CST
Hi all,

It has been a while since I have posted here since things in my neck of the woods have been crazy busy but I do check in periodically to see what is happening in the lily world :-)

I am proud and happy to say that a lot of my new lilies planted last fall are emerging. Some of them, like Lilium regale, are now 2'+ with tiny buds developing deep in the center of the stem tip. Others Like L. pumilum already have candelabras of buds forming which already have 1" buds at the bottom of the scape. And OTs and LOs are rocketing out of the ground with thick stems and luscious foliage. Some of these are already nearing the 2' mark as well. Even L. speciosum (rubrum and album) have had a nearly 100% sprout rate and are several inches tall. Certainly not something I would have expected to write at the end of April. So far, because of my proximity to Lake Michigan, I have been able to avoid the freezes and frosts that have plagued so many gardeners this year. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that disaster doesn't strike.

However, I find that my Asiatics are only sprouting weakly at best. Very few of the L. lankongense hybrids like 'Ariadne' and 'Karen North' have pushed up noses yet, while there is absolutely no trace of supposed stalwarts like 'Red Velvet' or 'Tiger Babies'. Are these bulbs just late spouters, or are they casualties of the strange winter and strange spring we have had? Some of these were planted fairly late, in early to mid November, so I am hoping they are merely wandering around underground waiting for their moment to pop out of the soil. Any ideas?







Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
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gwhizz
Apr 24, 2012 4:08 AM CST
Patience and Understanding[ I still dont understand lots of the happenings]-I just count my blessings, when they do bloom!!...Anyway Corey, Im 1/2 a world away and all the wierdest of things, go on here too!! Blinking
lily freaks are not geeks!
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
Apr 25, 2012 9:52 PM CST
Karen North and Tiger Babies have shown up on schedule for me.
Lilium lankongense is always a little later than most lilies:

Thumb of 2012-04-26/Leftwood/144d89
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Apr 26, 2012 11:05 AM CST
I think I need to learn how to be patient. One of the varieties I planted last fall was Judith Freeman's 'Peach Lace' which she advertises as a "robust triploid which will soon establish a colony in your garden." Needless to say, it is has been one of the varieties I have been most anxiously watching for signs of sprouts and I have been dismayed at finding nothing. Well, guess what? Last night I was weeding through a bed and found three sprouts (from three bulbs planted) of 'Peach Lace'. They were at least 1 to 1.5 feet away from where I had planted them and were hidden among mature daffodil and hyacinth foliage.

I read in Ed McRae's book that lilies with L. lankongense heritage tend to wander around underground a bit before emerging, but I had no idea it would be so extreme. He writes that if planted deeply, it lessens the tendency to wander. All of these bulbs were planted about 8 inches deep, so lilies must not read books, LOL! Big Grin

Checking around in other "unlikely" places underneath spring bulb foliage I did find a handful of tiny noses poking through. Hopefully the rest of them are just wandering around underground looking for a good place to emerge.

I am still a bit concerned about my 'Red Velvet', however. I planted 10 bulbs total from B&D in a well-drained raised bed and, as far as I can tell, none of them have sprouted. The 'Anastasia' in the same bed are nearing two feet tall now and the some of the Lilium speciosum are at least a foot tall.
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
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gwhizz
Apr 26, 2012 9:38 PM CST
Ive seen L . Duchartrei wander around the pot and bloom from a drainage hole... Confused
lily freaks are not geeks!
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
Apr 26, 2012 10:36 PM CST
Probably not that unusual that wandering lily sprouts pop up where other plants have already made their debut. Any place a plant breaks the surface it will be easier for other sprouts to follow. That initial breaking of the surface crust may encourage upright growth.
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
May 4, 2012 12:27 PM CST
I have been finding a few more sprouts here and there. Is it normal for some of these hybrids to be extremely short first year? Many of these are already showing tiny buds in the center of the stem and they are barely 6 inches tall! Others are about 8-12 inches tall, but are still showing buds. This includes Ariadne, Rosepoint Lace and Antique Lace.

I know that first season lilies are often shorter than established lilies, but this is ridiculous! Certainly not even approaching the 4-5 feet tall mentioned in The Lily Garden catalogue. I hope it was not a cultivation error on my part.

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
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gwhizz
May 4, 2012 6:17 PM CST
4-5 ft tall Confused ?Havn't seen one that high yet after 3 yrs
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
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pardalinum
May 4, 2012 8:21 PM CST

Moderator

My lankongense hybrids have always come up short (if they come up at all). Then usually if they came up the first year they are gone the second year. I have wasted too much money on those beauties!

They seem to grow very well for some people. I think my problem is too much rain all fall, winter and spring and heavy clay soil that drains very slowly. They dislike too much moisture. For me they may have done better in containers that I could pull under the eaves, but basically I have given up on them. Too many other good choices out there to fill up the real estate.

Another lily that requires perfect drainage is auratum and its hybrids. I won't buy those anymore either. Cherbourg lasted but one season for me. Any of those yellow orientals are off my list.
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
May 4, 2012 8:34 PM CST
I'd say it is normal for you this year, Corey. The fact that you have not just one but several (or more) doing the same thing points to an environmental cause(s) common to them all. This might be anything from poor bulb storage by the vendor, bad soil, late planting, dry soil, to soemthing else(?) If you let the flowers develop, you will disappointed by their size, off color and distortions. If it were me, I would remove the buds when you are able. They will be normal next year. Of course, it wouldn't be normal if first year plants attained mature height, either. Big Grin

I think we've all had "ridiculous" growth at times. The best thing is to learn from them.
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
May 5, 2012 2:19 AM CST
Try to copy their original birthplace,..Mine do not see full sun, except for a certain time, when the sun breaches the corner of the house,[which is when they are normally flowering],..,they get heaps of warmth, radiated from the tin shield in front of them [facing north],..,Their pots cannot get hot.,- i grow Duchartreii-Majoense- Nepalense and Cardiocrinum Giganteum[plus a couple of others] in somewhat the same conditions,.,.If you have a chance, open your ear to somebody old in your area, that has grown these liliums, for a while,..,And after all this, please dont think im a knowledgable person, because, i lose a few bulbs from time to time Shrug!
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
May 5, 2012 6:49 AM CST
Apparently the normal for this year with everything will be abnormal. That early spring just messed everything up.
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
May 5, 2012 7:04 AM CST
PollyK said:Apparently the normal for this year with everything will be abnormal. That early spring just messed everything up.


Definitely! And that will manifest itself in different ways in different parts of the country.

Thinking about all this a little more, my educated guess is that there are two most important factors:
-- Proper root growth before sprouting begins.
-- Proper timing of growth.
And these can be influenced by may things.

Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
May 5, 2012 8:45 AM CST
Thank you all of you for helping me to get to the bottom of this! Even if no consensus is reached, it is still fun to ponder what might be going on.

Rick, you have made me think think more about my growing conditions for these particular bulbs. Here are a few more details:

1. All bulbs came from Judith at The Lily Garden, so improper storage is unlikely. She has been growing lilies for probably more years than I have been on the planet! Smiling
2. All bulbs were small, many being quarter size or smaller. While planting, I *imagined* (but never verified) that these bulbs should be naturally small due to parentage. They could just be immature.
3. I planted all bulbs deeply after reading what Ed McRae had to say about them (stoloniferous habits that can be moderated with deep planting). Many of these bulbs have 7-9 inches of soil covering them, but...
4. The soil they are planted in is very loose and friable. It is quite sandy, and I am able to scoop it out easily by hand to plant other things in the same area.
5. They are in full sun.
6. These bulbs were planted in early-mid November, which might be somewhat late, but we had a very long and warm fall. The ground didn't even freeze until January.
7. Those that are forming tiny buds in the center have whorls of 3-4 buds total. Not sure if that can also be a sign of immaturity...

One thing I suspect might be wrong is that I do not live in the Pacific Northwest and many of these lilies will simply be much smaller in my area than they are for the professional lily growers. Suppose if they naturally reach a maximum of 2.5-3 feet in my area, and they top out at 1-1.5 feet their first season, maybe that is not really cause for concern? Still, I would not hesitate to snip off the buds on these plants if you all feel like they would benefit from it and settle in better.

I think Tracy might be the person on this forum who is closest to me who also grows many of these hybrids.

It is a bit amusing to me that my Asiatics--uncommon and exotic though they may be--are the ones causing me distress and concern. Don't most sources proclaim how "easy" they are? Big Grin The only Asiatic that seems to like me so far is Citronella, and that one is planted under harsh conditions among tree roots.

I shouldn't complain though. Many of my LOs and OTs are already reaching 3 feet with no buds in sight yet, and many of the trumpet strains like Pink Perfection and Golden Splendour are even nearing 4 feet!


Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
May 5, 2012 5:32 PM CST

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This spring will be a true test for some things lily. It's a good thing I don't show lilies or I might be crying.

My Red Velvet and Tiger Babies proved so far, to be stellar. Neither of them had bad signs from late frost after to much warmth in March. I will say that Karen North seems to look shorter than normal. And as far as the true L. lankongense, it has never lasted more than one season here. Why? Who knows. But the L. lankongense relatives from Judith's collection, all seem to have done well. And my Peach Lace bulbs twice now, have appeared far (1-1/2 feet) from where I have placed their signage, which means they have "wondered" for me too. Ariadne looks good too, as do my other North Hybrids.

On the other hand, I have some OTs that have really taken a hit with this weather. These are supposed to be more weather tolerant. I never know what exactly the problem is, how far into growth they are when the freeze hits, hardly any snow cover( I don't think that's it, as they all looked good at first coming up). It could be anything, it could be everything.

Tracey
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
May 9, 2012 10:01 AM CST
Thank you, Tracey! It is great to hear your experience with these hybrids, especially since you are so close to me geographically.

I am still finding a few recently emerged noses here and there. It seems like the L. lankongense hybrids not only emerge quite late but they also tend to set buds very early while the leaves are still a very dense whorl and then the stems start to elongate a bit. One of the 'Peach Lace' that was 8 inched tall when I first noticed buds is now 14 inches tall and the buds really haven't grown at all, only the stem. A 'Rosepoint Lace' that was 6 inches tall when I first noticed buds is now 16 inches tall! I am sure these will be much shorter than normal this first year, but hopefully next year (if they survive my conditions) they will start to settle in and thrive. I have two stems of what I believe is 'Karen North' that are nearing 24 inches tall and are just now showing the first signs of buds.

I think probably 95% of the L. lankongense hybrid bulbs are now up and growing, which is not bad considering that I thought I had lost most of them just a few short weeks ago! Smiling

On the other hand, only about 5/10 'Red Velvet' bulbs are up and what I believe is 'White Henryi' looks extremely weak. All in all, this has been a most fascinating learning experience for me. I can't wait to see what the rest of the season will bring! Big Grin

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