Lilies forum: Lily "bulbs" growing above soil level in containers.

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Jenacy
Apr 3, 2018 4:25 AM CST
I grew some beautiful Tree Lilies last year on our balcony and I followed all the rules about when to cut them down after fall (and turning brown).Each container has only four bulbs and correct soil etc etc. So,we put them in our garage over winter, mulshed the top and protected them from mice.
Now this is happening! Are they bulbs? What should I do with them? I found a few links here but none that seem to have the same questions. Don´t want to "pull them out" and damage the lily bulbs.

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Jenacy
Apr 3, 2018 4:27 AM CST
Thank you so much to anyone who can give me some advice about what to do. I was (am) so looking forward to growing them again. They were around 1 meter in hight.
Name: Joshua
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Australis
Apr 3, 2018 4:43 AM CST

Plants Admin

Your bulbs likely produced stem bulblets last year. They are baby bulbs that will be the same as the parent. They may produce single large leaf or a short stem this year. You can dig them out and plant them separately at the end of the season when they all die back.
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Name: Dave
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Nhra_20
Apr 3, 2018 4:49 AM CST
Along with what Australis said. Might have produced smaller bulbs at the base of the stem below the soil. And now everything, including the main bulbs are waking up for the season.

Jenacy
Apr 3, 2018 5:01 AM CST
Thank you so much Australis and Nhra-20 for your help.
So, should I just leave them as they are now and perhaps water them. The weather has changed now here in Germany, it´s getting warm Smiling Should I put them back up on the balcony next month?
Will they suffocate my larger tree lilies? I had four magnificent stems in each container last year with huge, beautiful flowers. If they can all grow happily together then I´ll not dig them out.
Thank you in advance for any more help.
Name: Dave
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Nhra_20
Apr 3, 2018 6:02 AM CST
This is just my opinion, but I think you will need to do one of two things. 1) transplant into a bigger pot, or 2) pull out the smaller bulblets. Too much crowding in those pots will not give the bulbs room to grow. Again, just my opinion.

Is the weather where you are at consistently above 40°F? Even at night time? If it's warm and you don't have to worry about cold nights anymore or any other winter type weather, I think you could water them, maybe add a diluted fertilizer in the 10•10•10 range. Just don't over water. Do the pots have holes in the bottom for drainage?
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Apr 3, 2018 6:17 AM CST

Plants Admin

Personally, I would wait until the end of the season to transplant, even though it will be crowded this year. This is because the roots will all be intertwined and it will be difficult to separate all the bulbs without emptying out the whole pot and breaking up all the potting mix.

How much light are they currently getting? If you are past all frosts where you are, then it should be safe to put them on your balcony.

As Dave (Nhra_20) said, be careful about overwatering. Lilies require good drainage. A good method for checking if they need water is to push your finger about two to three inches (five to eight centimeters) into the soil/potting mix and see if it is damp or sticks to the tip of your finger.
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[Last edited by Australis - Apr 3, 2018 6:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
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Leftwood
Apr 3, 2018 8:09 AM CST
Obviously Smiling , they don't get any light in the garage and that is why they are only lightly colored. If the weather cooperates, put the outside: for the first one to two weeks, put them outside in part or full shade, and under an overhang if possible so night frosts can't settle on them. If night temperatures are predicted to be 2-3ºC or lower, bring them back into the garage until temps are above that. If this means you can only bring them out during the daytime, I would still do that. Without light, stems will be very week, leaves distorted and although the plants would still be healthy and come back normally in the following year, this season they won't be so enjoyable to look at. After this first 1-2 weeks, they can go to your permanent location.

If it were me, I would just snip off the extra little sprouts at ground level, rather than trying to dig them out. You won't kill the little bulblets that they originate from, just put those bulblets in stasis until next year. In fall when everything dies back, then remove them. It is not terrible if you leave them grow, but these non-flowering bulbets will compete for sun/water/nutrients with the mother bulb that will produce the flowers. Letting those bulblets leaf out will produce a more leafy pot and a nicer looking plant, but will also cause less air circulation among and through the leaf area, that can encourage leaf diseases like botrytis.

Jenacy
Apr 3, 2018 10:57 AM CST
Thank you all for your replies, I really appreciate you taking the time to offer your advice. Leftwood: I have brought them up for some light and have snipped off the little sprouts.
I'll keep an eye out for diseases.
Thank You!
Name: Frank Mosher
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fwmosher
Apr 3, 2018 11:30 AM CST
Welcome, Jenacy! As you described your bulbs, they are the repeat blooms of your Tree Lilies. The large shoots are the repeats, the little shoots, from bulblets as mentioned. I wouldn't touch anything, just bring them to light as soon as possible, after slowly introducing same to sunlight-"hadening off". The little bulblets will grow nicely on their own, and at the end of the season, wait until their stalks turn brown, and then separate same from the main bulb, and plant all the newer generation in a separate pot. Cheers!
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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Roosterlorn
Apr 3, 2018 3:01 PM CST
Welcome Jenacy

This is a classic case of premature emergence when bulbs stored in unheated garages first sense a little spring warmup. You can tell that their present growing conditions are too warm, too wet, and too dark. They need to be slowed down---way down. The way to do that is to immediately stop any moisture (watering) to dry out completely. Move to the coldest spot you can provide which is just above freezing. Introduce to bright cold shade out and away of bright sunlight until all above ground growth is a bright green. The period of time involved will probably be about three weeks to normalize. Do not expect additional growth during this period. Introduce to dappled shade when ready.

The larger noses in the pictures are noses of the original bulbs even though they look small now.. You may find that hard to believe since you remember the mature base of the plant was so large last Fall. Well, it turns out that, generally, all newly emerging lily stems have a very small diameter until the nose breaks the surface. An interesting comparison can be made by checking the hole sizes of last years stems on the new bulbs you receive this Spring. The stem diameter really starts getting bigger around once the stem roots begin to form. The lily will be about 12inches high by that time.

If you transplant these in the garden this Spring, be ever so careful not to break off any stem noses as they are tender and crisp with that much growth. Even though it's been said lilies always will grow better in the ground than in pots, I would grow these in pots until Fall.

[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Apr 3, 2018 3:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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Roosterlorn
Apr 3, 2018 4:13 PM CST
Jenacy:

Example of a bulb stored over winter inside under very similar conditions to yours. It was then grown outside in the same pot the following summer. Even your small bulblets coming up will double in size over summer, giving them value added plus stamina for the next approaching winter season Thumbs up

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Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Apr 3, 2018 6:20 PM CST
What kind of monster lily bulb is that? I've never seen one that large. Blinking I need to get some of those. nodding What are tree lilies anyway?
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
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Australis
Apr 3, 2018 6:49 PM CST

Plants Admin

Deebie said:What are tree lilies anyway?


"Tree lilies" is a marketing gimmick. Basically they are just tall trumpet or OT hybrid Liliums.

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: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Apr 3, 2018 6:59 PM CST
Thanks for clarifying that.

Jenacy
Apr 7, 2018 11:45 AM CST
Thank You! everyone for your advice. I'll let you know how they grow in the next few weeks.

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