Lilies forum: not sure whats going on here...

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derby uk.
lilymanrob
May 18, 2017 5:18 AM CST
ok... not only have some of my largest lilies disappeared, but most of the others are very short, they are budding up (early) after emerging early, they are about a month early... but they are only half the size they were the last two seasons... they all seem healthy enough, hardly any disease like botrytis , despite strong stems too. i was under the impression that lilies dont like being disturned, and leaving them alone is best if you want to grow large specimines, which i do. but lilies like my eudoxia, salterello, garden affair all of which were 1.5 - 1.8 metres this year will be under 1 metre... Sad

any ideas as to why this should be? did i keep them too dry over winter? or do early lilies always grow small?
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Nhra_20
May 18, 2017 5:30 AM CST
Do you plant them in the ground or in pots? Two things come to mind for me. Over crowded? Or lack of nutrients.
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Australis
May 18, 2017 5:35 AM CST

Plants Admin

Another possibility is weather. You mention that they've emerged earlier than usual, which means that conditions were different to previous years. What has your weather been like in comparision to the last two years?
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derby uk.
lilymanrob
May 19, 2017 4:54 AM CST
they are in pots, though a couple have survived in the ground.

we have had a mild, dry winter here in the uk, i covered the pots with a taup so they didnt get too wet. in fact they were dry, i wanted to stop rotting and fungal infections that have been problematic in previous years. left uncovered in previous winters resulted in rot and botrytus.
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Leftwood
May 19, 2017 7:50 AM CST
some of my largest lilies disappeared
they
[I assume the ones that came up?] all seem healthy enough

Did you see that the bulbs that disappeared are gone... not even remnants? If the soil was dry there ought to be something for you to see.

If your lilies have been in the same pot for a long(?) time, perhaps the soil has decomposed (in that extra time) enough to cause water retention issues, and the bulbs rotted. Bulbs can rot during the growing season, too, and this may have happened during last year's growing season. If the bulbs that "disappeared" shut down earlier last year than normal, it might be that the bulbs began (or finished rotting) during the growing season. If lilies have a good complement of stem roots, the above ground part of a lily might still survive for that season, even if the mother bulb is gone.

derby uk.
lilymanrob
May 20, 2017 2:33 AM CST
Leftwood said:some of my largest lilies disappeared
they
[I assume the ones that came up?] all seem healthy enough

Did you see that the bulbs that disappeared are gone... not even remnants? If the soil was dry there ought to be something for you to see.

If your lilies have been in the same pot for a long(?) time, perhaps the soil has decomposed (in that extra time) enough to cause water retention issues, and the bulbs rotted. Bulbs can rot during the growing season, too, and this may have happened during last year's growing season. If the bulbs that "disappeared" shut down earlier last year than normal, it might be that the bulbs began (or finished rotting) during the growing season. If lilies have a good complement of stem roots, the above ground part of a lily might still survive for that season, even if the mother bulb is gone.



thanks for your reply.

3 years in the same pot but i didnt use compost but mixed my own using topsoil, sand with a little organic matter. im aware bulbs dont like being too wet so i made drainage a priority.

thing is.... some of the bulbs are up and healthy in the same pot others have disappeared. so i darent root around too much in case i disturb the healthy ones... (large pots). tbh i do think one bulb rotted last growing season living off stem roots... it did turn an unhealthy colour.

tbh i think i might have kept them TOO dry, hence the stunted growth?..
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
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Leftwood
May 20, 2017 3:37 PM CST
It's hard to know what "top soil" is like in the UK compared to the US. Our top soil is black and heavy textured. Even mixed half and half with sand and a little organic matter, it wouldn't be good for lilies in pots (way too heavy).

tbh i think i might have kept them TOO dry, hence the stunted growth?..
Yes, perhaps. Dry soil in a pot is a lot drier than dry soil in the ground. If I keep a lily in soil in a pot over the winter, once it dries down, I will seal it in a plastic bag to prevent over drying.
derby uk.
lilymanrob
May 21, 2017 3:09 AM CST
hmmm.... just noticed i might not have lost as many as i thought.... whilst most are now budding, ive a couple on new emerging ones.

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