Lilies forum: Newbie with a few questions from Canada..

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Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 14, 2015 2:48 PM CST
first of all hello everyone.
I have planted lilies years ago and have since moved to another house and starting all over again. I planted 300 or more lilies this past fall and waiting to see what comes up in the springtime and since some of the bulbs were mixed.......will have to try ribbons on them in case some of them have to planted to a new area. Do not want 3 foot lilies growing with ones that are maybe 5 will see

the question I have is that I am buying a really nice trumpet lily and want to know if I can just scale the bulbs and plant the scales right into the garden without going through the bag routine and all that. it would give the scales a full season and summer to grow. I know that trumpets do not need to go in the fridge so wandered if this idea would work..

the other question I have is what and who are the biggest pollinators of lilies. I am a bit worried about this since I have a tulip tree on this yard that produces 700 tulips in the springtime and attracts queen bees and honey bees also queen honey bees. they somehow managed to change my peonies colors last year. I forget the term but it turns the flower back to the original color. this also happened with some tulips too. Apparently this is rare but it can happen.

anyhow glad I found out about this site..
I love lilies and flowers in general of all types
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
Feb 14, 2015 5:53 PM CST
Welcome! Pat

I'll answer your first question about scaling--that's the easy one. The answer is yes, you can scale and plant them directly in the garden, BUT YOU SHOULDN'T. The reasons you should not are that you lose environment control and your bulblet yield and bulblet survival rate will be much, much lower. If you spend big bucks for a nice lily and you really, really like it, then take the time and do it right and you will be happier in the end. Four, five or six scales is all you really need to get several baby bulblets started and it won't hurt the mother bulb at all. Scaling the mother bulb more than half way results in a smaller plant the following year but will recover nicely the second year.

Scales of several types of modern day commercial lilies taken in the Spring can be potted up directly out of incubation because they've already been chilled at the grower/supply source. Trumpets are kind of an exception in that they can be be potted up directly in the Fall as well without a chill.

Again, Welcome!
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Feb 14, 2015 5:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Feb 14, 2015 7:51 PM CST
Hi Pat, We're so pleased that your chose our forum for your debut on the ATP site! Welcome!

Lorn is right. If you just plant the scales in the outside soil, think of it as a bonus if they grow you get new plants. Don't expect that it will work. If you are good with that, then go for it.

[Last edited by Leftwood - Feb 14, 2015 7:52 PM (+)]
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Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Feb 14, 2015 10:29 PM CST
Welcome Pat! I agree with Lorn and Rick. I would pop off a few scales and put them in a bag with slightly damp vermiculite. It's not hard and easy to do. Once you pop them off, put them in your medium and I put my bags in an old shoe box to keep the light out. After they've reached sufficient size plant as you wish. Theres more info on the stickied thread, "Adventures in Scaling" at the top of this forum. Again, you could put the scales in the dirt outside but why play roulette when it's easy enough to do the best way.
Name: della
hobart, tasmania
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Feb 15, 2015 12:28 AM CST

Enjoy your scaling adventures.

Not sure about your pollinator worries. If you're not raising lilium from seed you don't have to worry whether your bulbs will 'come back' the same colour or not - I can only think of one instance in which a clone produced a sport, and that one (Silver Scheherazade) is (in my opinion) even more beautiful than the original.

Seed-raised lilies though are new individuals and will display their own particular colour that may or may not be similar to the parents. The most frequent pollinator of lilies around here is the garden-variety hybridiser... and it leads to lots of colour instability in the lily population. Whistling

(Sorry I don't know what the most common insect pollinator is!)

If you do notice variations in colour from the same bulb from year to year it is probably environmental - temperature, soil pH and nutrients, light levels, and rain all have an impact. If you get streaking of flowers you might be looking at a disease. Always feel free to share pictures here and ask away. We'd love to see your lilies in bloom Smiling

Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 15, 2015 7:34 AM CST
thanks everyone. I will use the bag routine then and see how that goes........

what happens if the bees cross pollinate the lilies in the summertime.

I plan on just removing the flowers as they die off so they do not go to seed........ a nature cross pollinated lily would be nice to see though..

another thing I was wandering is if and the lily club here said nobody has had any real luck with crossing a stargazer and a casa blanca lily. I would love to try that as well in the summer once they are in bloom and save the seeds and try to plant them. I will put a piece of foil on as well to make sure that is all that pollinates the mother.

I thought I was the only silly lady that was over the moon for lilies. Glad that I found this forum.

up here the thoughts is that the biggest pollinators will likely be the moths and also the hummingbirds...... but there are tons of bumble bees and honey bees here as well.
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
Feb 15, 2015 8:26 AM CST
Pat, where in Canada are you?
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
Feb 15, 2015 2:16 PM CST
Pat, in you last paragraph of your first post, you mention flowers turning back (reverting) to their original color. Well, that doesn't happen with lilies; it's genetically impossible. It's an old myth! So, if you ever hear anybody talkin' that talk you can chuckle to yourself, knowing that they're a little old fashioned with what they think. This coming spring/summer season if you have any that are different color or appear differently than last summer, bring each one up as they occur and we'll address them individually here. Now then, as Della referred to above there are several things that can make a lily change color a little bit from year to year but learning all those things is best done one thing at a time as they occur-- and, not just from what you experience with your plants, but with all of ours here as well. There be plenty of examples to look at, for sure.

When it comes to pollination, insects and wind (and animals to a small extent) are the natural pollenators. Man made pollination is 'artificial pollenation' with a specific purpose in mind. Cross pollination by any means does not change the color of the flower of the original two plants, EVER. That's an old myth, too! Only the cross-offspring through seed will the color be different. So, again, if you ever hear somebody talkin' that talk, well, you can have another chuckle Big Grin .

Don't be bashful about asking questions and sharing your experiences with lilies around here. The 'regulars' on this form are all common folks like you and I--gardeners who just happen to like lilies. Check out some of the other features on this forum when you get a chance--like the Plant Database for lilies and Tree Mail, etc. Feel free to ask any questions with these as well.

Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 15, 2015 7:49 PM CST
I live in Ontario in Bruce County. the zone here is 5.
I just bought this house a year ago and so went on a lily splurge....and planted about 300 this past fall........
so see what comes up in the springtime..

I have all new gardens with fresh soil and all the gardens are raised beds...... plenty of peat moss in there as well
I planted bone meal with all the bulbs when they were planted....

I feel I might have some crowding of some of them and might have to move some this year as well..

planted all kinds of lilies but turk caps and martagon

I am in love the orienpets...

I also defunked the lily tree myth and called the company on their own bluff.......... no such thing as lily trees
hoping some of my orienpets that they are calling lily trees are tall.........

In the meantime we had a wind chill told of -45F and a snowstorm too boot........
good thing all my bulbs got mulched this year big time.....

thanks for all your help
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
Feb 16, 2015 9:02 AM CST
Welcome Pat. I cant wait to see your blooms.

Feb 25, 2015 11:10 PM CST
I grew lilies for many years and raised honey bees. Bees were not interested in the lilies at all except to gather water during the dry season. We had many thousands of other flowers they liked much better. Sometimes a butterfly or a hummingbird would go after a lily. Hummers really loved the pardalinum! Night flying moths like the Spinx moth were the most abundant on the lilies. And queen honeybees are not capable of feeding themselves nor flying after their one and only mating flight. Except when something happens to the hive and they swarm, mostly they make new queens to swarm.

The most color change you will see on lilies is due to temps, heat makes the pinks fade or discolor and in some cases like the orientals if it nice and cool when they bloom they will have a pink tint which is totally absent in the heat.

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