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Sep 3, 2015 8:16 AM CST

I started cultivating lilies about 5 years ago. Every year I put in some new varieties to see how they work out. This year ALL my lilies did poorly, except the ones in pots. Last year I used peat moss on the surface of the gardens. I live in upper Galena Forest and we do get cold and snow. Prior to that I was using Amend and covered with pine needles. In summer the ground dries out very fast, even though I tried using some redwood chips to keep moisture in. I'm debating whether to pick up all the lilies, amend the soil totally and then replant them. Not sure what to do with this. Let me know if you have some suggestions. Thanks!
Sep 3, 2015 9:33 AM CST
Forum moderator Garden Photography Irises Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover
Hellebores Deer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Welcome! LilyLover

You don't mention what type of lilies you grow, but after five years, most lilies will indeed need to be divided as they will be very crowded, so I think replanting is a good idea. However it's better if you move them to new soil and plant something different where they have grown. Rotate your crops, so to speak. Many pathogens build up in soil over time if you grow only one species intensely.

As you mention dry ground and living in a forest I do wonder if perhaps you have tree roots growing in your beds? In my experience one need either to use some sort of root barrier or dig through the beds from time to time. This would be another reason to redo your beds. Also remember that this years performance to a large part is decided by last years growing season as the food is stored in the bulb already.

That said I think that the more detailed info you provide on your growing situation, the better answer you will get Smiling . Pictures help, too. Remember that we haven't seen your lilies or your beds and perhaps there also is problems with diseases and so on and there are folks here that are very good at diagnosing those things. But generally speaking I think digging and dividing would be a really good thing. Also of course you may need to water and fertilize a little more than you have done.
Avatar for LilyLover
Sep 3, 2015 12:12 PM CST

Thanks for the prompt reply and good advice. I have many different varieties - the most prolific are the "Carpet Lilies" which propagate every year. I buy a new variety every year to see how it grows up here. My Casa Blancas and Stargazers were blooming beautifully before this year. I think you're right about changing them to a new location and regenerating the soil. I may put some in pots as my potted lilies were fine. And there are tree roots all around - I generally cut them up when I'm planting but they may be more of a problem than I'm noticing. When I transplant into the ground I'll check carefully for roots.
Thanks again!
Sep 3, 2015 2:46 PM CST
Forum moderator Garden Photography Irises Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover
Hellebores Deer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
I Googled "Carpet lilies" and it seems that most of the lilies sold as such are low growing Asiatic Lilies. I know that these lilies are very robust and quick to increase. They are also tolerant of a wide range of different soils and conditions Smiling .

'Stargazer' and 'Casa Blanca' belong to the Oriental lilies and these can actually be a bit temperamental. Some can grow them very well, but often they don't increase much and they also are well known to dwindle over the years. You probably already know this, but they also require an acid soil. For this reason it's actually often recommended to grow them in pots, so if this works for you, then I think you should continue Thumbs up

If you like the fragrance and size of Oriental lilies, but feel that you would like a more vigorous lily it could be well worth to look at the OT(Oriental Trumpet) lilies as they usually are much easier to grow in the garden. They are also sometimes sold as Orienpets. They may take a year or two to settle in, but after that, they usually are very strong growing and they can grow in both acid and alkaline soils. Apologize if you already grow a bunch of these, but I thought it was well worth mentioning. And just as you know, OTs are my favourite lilies, so I'm very biased. 'Silk Road' for instance is a great, garden tested OT lily that is widely available, grows very quickly and blooms for a very long time as well.
Sep 3, 2015 4:58 PM CST
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
Welcome! Welcome to ATP, LilyLover Welcome!

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