cooling period for Oriental and Asiatic Lilies - Knowledgebase Question

Montclair, Ca
Avatar for lisguevara
Question by lisguevara
January 31, 2011
How long should bulblets be kept in the refrigerator for a cooling period and at what temperature? I put some bulblets and fully grown bulbs in the refrigerator and they've gone soft. Why did this happen? Will they recuperate once I've potted them? Thank you

Answer from NGA
January 31, 2011
Your bulbs will need 14-16 weeks of cold treatment before they can be planted out in your garden. In your gardening region they should go into the fridge in September and removed about mid-December, then planted back in the pots or out in the garden. They will grow roots and then flower right on schedule in the spring. If the bulbs are soft they may have been left in storage too long, or they were exposed to ethylene gas (perhaps from apples) that were stored in the fridge at the same time. There's no guarantee they will plump up and recover when you plant them outdoors or back in pots, but there is a chance so I'd go ahead and plant them now. Best wishes with your lily bulbs.

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