Oriental Lily - Knowledgebase Question

Chapel Hill, NC
Question by daveb123
February 8, 1999
I purchased an Oriental lily (Stargazer) during early fall, which was in bloom. It continued to flower for a few weeks then began to die down. After the stalk dried completely I removed it. I assumed that the bulb would put forth new growth when it was ready. It's been long enough now that I'm beginning to wonder. I've removed some of the top soil to find a nice healthy bulb with roots still intact, but it shows no signs of new growth yet. Is there something I need to do to encourage it, or am I just to impatient? If I do manage to revive it, what conditions are most favorable for extending its blooming period?

Answer from NGA
February 8, 1999


Stargazer Lilies generally bloom in the late summer (August). The usual cycle is for the foliage to die back in the late fall and return in the spring. It's a bit early for your lily to show signs of life, but it will as soon as the weather warms up. After the flowers fade you can cut the stems back, but leave the foliage until it withers naturally. Then remove the foliage. In the spring new leaves will sprout and the bulb will develop a new flowering stem. Lilies really prefer to have their roots in cool, moist soil and their heads in the sunshine. You can accomplish that by applying mulch to the soil around the plant, or placing smaller plants near the lilies to help shade the soil.

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