propagating asiatic lilies through leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Montclair, Ca
Question by lisguevara
November 16, 2010
I saw this done on a website and I am going to attempt it. They put the lily leaves in sand, but I would like to know if I'll obtain the same results if I put them in vermiculite instead. Thank you


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Answer from NGA
November 16, 2010

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Vermiculite drains as quickly as sand so drainage should not be a problem. The only catch is that vermiculite will not hold moisture for any length of time the way sand will so you'll need to watch closely for water needs. I've had success with what I call a propagation pot and you can make one yourself. You'll need a 6" plastic pot, some vermiculite, a 2" clay pot, a paper towel and a small piece of duct tape. You'll also want a saucer to put beneath the plastic pot to catch any excess water. Start by soaking the vermiculite in water for several hours. Line the plastic pot with a folded papertowel to block the drainage holes so the vermiculite doesn't fall out. Fill the pot with the moistened vermiculite. Place the duct tape over the drainage hole of the clay pot and then push the clay pot into the vermiculite so it is buried about one half inch from the top of the rim. The clay pot will be the water reservoir and you'll need to keep water in it at all times. The vermiculite will hold the water but it will feel barely damp. Fill the clay pot with water. Your propagation pot is ready to use.

Now for the lilies: You can pull downward on the lily leaves to remove them from the stem, dip the bottom ends in rooting hormone, make a slit or hole in the vermiculite with a table knife and slip each cutting into a hole. They can be placed about an inch apart in the vermiculite.

As long as you keep water in the little clay pot, your cuttings should develop roots and bulblets in a matter of a few weeks.

Good luck with your project!

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