Lilies forum: Re-Setting sprouting bulbs

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Name: John H
Chicago (Zone 6a)
Apr 12, 2016 3:43 PM CST
Lily friends, late last summer our backyard was in the middle of a construction project and although I tried to protect the lily beds, some of the bulbs were disturbed. This spring I noticed that although they are sprouting they very close to the surface of the bed. Can I gently excavate and reposition them lower into the ground so they can sprout roots above the bulbs without too much damage? The good news is that all the disturbance created lots of additional small bulbs. Any advice?
Name: John H
Chicago (Zone 6a)
Apr 12, 2016 3:53 PM CST
Here are some pics of what I'm trying to describe.
Thumb of 2016-04-12/OaxacaJohn1/804713
Thumb of 2016-04-12/OaxacaJohn1/7cf0d9

Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
Apr 12, 2016 6:19 PM CST
Thanks for including pictures, they say a picture is worth a thousand words! Thumbs up

Here's how I would handle it if these were mine. Others on here may approach this situation differently, however. My general rule is to not move a lily after the nose has turned green and the leaves have begun to unfold. For those in picture #1, I would simply add another couple inches of soil, leaving some of the green exposed. These would then draw themselves deeper into the ground naturally over the summer. Mulch generously around the stems over summer. If they absolutely must be moved, then move very carefully as a clump, keeping the anchor roots and soil intact. Plant a little deeper but still leave some of the new green exposed. Mulch generously during the summer months in either case.

For those in picture #2, I can tell by looking at the noses, it appears that the mature bulbs are at a satisfactory depth already. Except for possibly one, only the immature stem bulblets are exposed. In this case, those can be carefully spooned away and replanted covered by an inch or two of soil.

It appears you have very good soil in very good condition. Thumbs up Smiling
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Apr 12, 2016 6:21 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1114346 (3)
Name: John H
Chicago (Zone 6a)
Apr 12, 2016 9:12 PM CST
Thank you, Lorn. I really appreciate the advice. I will mulch as you say and see what transpires over the summer. I try and do my best with the soil. It's fairly sandy and the lilies love it.
[Last edited by OaxacaJohn1 - Apr 12, 2016 9:14 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1114501 (4)
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
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
Apr 13, 2016 1:56 PM CST
I agree with Lorn as being the best approach. You may or may not find the bulb descending into the soil over the summer. Check it in the fall and decide if you need to replant the bulb deeper at that time.

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