Lilies forum: Newbie -Stargazer Lilies

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Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 17, 2017 11:02 PM CST
Hey I am new to growing plants, I decided to grow some stargazer lilies, but they have stopped growing and their stalks turned brown. I have them outside in pots. I'm in zone 7a if i remember correctly. Any suggestions on potentially saving them?

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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
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Australis
May 18, 2017 12:09 AM CST

Plants Admin

Hi and Welcome!

First, a few questions to help everyone understand the situation. What media have you used in your pots?

Are you watering them and if so, how often? Lilies don't like lots of water (Oriental hybrids - which includes the original 'Stargazer' and many similar-looking ones - are fussier than Asiatics in this case).

If the stems are going brown now, then they're not going to flower this season. Hopefully, though, we can work out what the issue is so that the bulbs survive and flower in the future.

Edit: had a closer look at your photos. It only looks like the lower leaves have died off; the top of the stem still looks okay.
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[Last edited by Australis - May 18, 2017 12:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 18, 2017 12:31 AM CST
Hello and thank you!

I used miracle grow potting mix, from a freshly opened bag. As for watering its normally about 3 times a week. I normally use the feed once a week. I have been having a problem with little tiny bugs that are always around. I had read that you can use a smal amount of dish soap and water and it would kill them, which I had been trying and they still seem to be coming back as well.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
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Australis
May 18, 2017 2:08 AM CST

Plants Admin

Okay. Those fungus gnats or tiny bugs like a moist environment and have probably set up home in your potting mix.

I think you're overwatering them. If the drainage isn't excellent, 3 times a week is way too much moisture for the bulbs (and often those special potting mixes are designed to hold water so you don't have to water as much). I have a number of lilies in pots and even during summer (Zone 10a - and it was a milder one than usual) I rarely watered more than once a fortnight. A good way to tell if you need to water them is to stick your finger into the potting mix - if it is moist or soil clings to your finger tip, there's still enough moisture in the pot.

For the moment, tilt the pots up on a 45-degree angle to try to encourage any moisture at the bottom of the pot to run out. Leave them like that for the time being and stop watering. If they were mine, I would carefully remove some of the mix around the single bulb in your second photo (without digging it up and trying not to damage the stem roots) to see how moist it is near the bulb and whether the bulb has begun to rot.
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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
Image
Australis
May 18, 2017 2:10 AM CST

Plants Admin

Additional comment: Only tilt the pots if they have holes around the side at the base (many pots do, but I can't tell from the photos). What is the base of your pots like? Is there only one central drainage hole?
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The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 18, 2017 7:07 AM CST
The drainage holes are around the sides at the bottom of the pot about 1/5 the way up the pot.

I pulled them in last night to try to take pictures I'll put them back outside and tilt them.

They also don't get all day sun, they get direct sun about 3 hours a day.
Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 18, 2017 7:20 AM CST
Dug the one you said a little bit

I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to look like but here's a picture.

Also, when I dug it up it was only about 2 inches of soil from to to where the bulb was, do I need to add more soil?

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[Last edited by Joshieboy2007 - May 18, 2017 7:26 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1447068 (7)
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
Image
Australis
May 18, 2017 7:30 AM CST

Plants Admin

That looks okay to me, from what I can see. The stem roots are starting to grow. Since it's put up leaves, I wouldn't add any more soil at the moment, but later in the year you might need to put it in a bigger pot.

You mention the drainage holes are about 1/5 up the side of the pot - are these self-watering pots?

Also, how moist was the potting mix around the bulb when you dug out that bit?
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Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 18, 2017 7:39 AM CST
It was pretty moist, quiet a bit of soil stuck to my fingers when I was digging it up.

They are not self watering pots.

Originally there was 2 bulbs in this pot the other one never came up.
Name: Patrick
Midland, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Image
auratum
May 18, 2017 7:39 AM CST
These look healthy. I think your concern was with the brownish color of the stem? That is not an issue as long as it looks firm and not decaying. As Joshua said, you need to be careful about overwatering lilies. In general I would recommend you mix the typical potting mix 50/50 with wood mulch to improve drainage for growing lilies in pots. I know someone that grew beautiful Oriental lilies in pure wood mulch in pots with no soil added - they had to fertilize a bit more as the growing media had no nutrients and they had to water a bit more but they didn't have to worry about overwatering. I don't know I would change your mix right now as the bulb is in active growth. You do want to make sure the pot is shaded to keep the bulb cool - lilies like the heads in some sun (depending on your growing zone) but their feet in the shade. Orientals do fine in some shade - especially the hotter your weather & sun. As a minimum I would add mulch on top of the soil in the pot to help keep the soil cool if you do nothing else.
Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 18, 2017 7:51 AM CST
The brown them was a concern also the leaves that were attached to it were dying as well. I'll hold off on watering them for a while and see if maybe they will come back to life. I think I am currently 3 days out without watering them and the soils is still pretty wet. So maybe another 3-5 days before testing to see if they need water. I think the weather this week will be in the low 80s.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
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Australis
May 18, 2017 7:53 AM CST

Plants Admin

Keep in mind that mulch will also keep more moisture in, so you will need to water less often when mulched as well.
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The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 18, 2017 7:57 AM CST
Thank You!

Should I wait on the mulch until the soil drys more?
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
Image
Australis
May 18, 2017 5:42 PM CST

Plants Admin

Yes, I would definitely wait for it to dry out more before mulching. Depending on your weather conditions, this could be another week.
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My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 22, 2017 7:06 PM CST
so, it has been 5 days since I said I wouldn't water and seems like not much has changed. I moved them back outside, but the weather has been pretty crappy. Around 70s. This is a current update on them with pictures. Are they looking any better? Feels like the same to me.
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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
Image
Australis
May 22, 2017 7:27 PM CST

Plants Admin

The single one is continuing to grow - if you compare your too photos, you'll see that the leaves have opened out more.

The pot with the three in it certainly hasn't gotten any worse. 5 days isn't a huge amount of time; some cultivars grow quite quickly, whilst others take a bit longer. With a few of mine they seemed to pop up out of the soil quite quickly, then slowed down a bit for a while. The weather probably also isn't helping, so just be patient and keep a close eye on them.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 26, 2017 6:08 PM CST
First day rewatering my plants but i first used a instruct spray I got from Walmart came in a red bottle, I think it was called like sevin spray. I saturated the tops of the pots early this morning because there was just tons of those little bugs crawling all over the pots waited about 8 hours re sprayed them and then watered them. Do you think that was enough to kill the ones that were probably nested into the soil? Also I could stick my index fingner in to the second knuckle and nothing was on it
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
Image
Australis
May 26, 2017 6:11 PM CST

Plants Admin

Sounds like the mix had sufficiently dried for watering again, so that's good.

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with sevin spray - perhaps one of the other members can comment?
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 26, 2017 9:13 PM CST
Yeah, I figured my "at home remedy" of dish soap and water wasn't very effective so I decided to try something new.

Hopefully it kills them out and my flowers will continue to grow. I feel like the larvae still might be in the soil eating on the roots not sure though.
Name: Josh
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Joshieboy2007
May 28, 2017 12:40 PM CST

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Update feels like the single one is still continuing to grow and the other the with 3 still remain the same.

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