How to transplant lilies?

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Transplant daylilies is an important exercise as it plays a critical role in allowing daylilies to grow strong and healthy. Often times, your garden will grow dense with clogged up clumps that end up competing for nutrients. The process of separating and transplanting daylilies also helps to spread the excess plants to areas they wouldn’t reach, naturally. It is a simple and a cost effective way to multiply daylilies in your garden. But just like any other practice in daylily farming there are several important steps you have to take when dividing and transplanting daylilies.

When do you Divide and Transplant Daylilies?

The best time to divide and transplant daylilies is early autumn after the hot summer or early spring before flowering. Although they are able to withstand different weather conditions and climates in Australia, it is highly recommended that the best time to move them is from spring to autumn. Gardeners see no real danger in transplanting daylilies throughout other times of the year, dividing and transplanting daylilies provides quality results when this is done either in spring or autumn. At this time, the soil temperature is rather moderate, allowing new transplanted daylilies to grow quickly.

When will Daylilies Bloom after Transplanting

Daylilies that are transplanted in early summer and autumn will definitely bloom the following season. But when transplanted during winter and spring they are not likely to bloom until the following year, while transplanting daylilies in bloom is not recommended this can be too much stress on the plant. When you move your plants in early autumn, they’ll require at least five weeks prior to frost to adapt to their new environment.

How do you Divide Daylilies

Transplanting daylilies involves moving and dividing daylily clumps into several plants that can be replanted for easier multiplication. When the clumps become too thick and large, they produce weak flowers that will eventually die. To dig and divide is not an option it’s mandatory, the process of dividing and transplanting daylilies is quite simple if you follow these necessary steps.

  1. Dig the Daylilies from the Ground, to begin with, uproot the clump by digging the root ball out of the ground with a garden fork and shake off the excess soil.
  2. Dividing the Daylilies – Use the same garden fork and knife to divide the clump into several sections, this should be done at least every three years and make sure each section has enough roots to accelerate its establishment. Each section of the clump should have at least one good fan to help it re-establish itself, by having more fans to the clump this will give you an instant display of flowers at flowering time.

Organic Growing Tips while Transplanting Daylilies

Transplant the Daylilies any time when they are actively growing, gardeners choose to transplant their plants in early spring or late summer in Australia. Once you have uprooted them, it is best to prepare a fresh new garden bed.

How Close to Plant Daylilies – Prepare Garden Soil – Re-Planting Daylilies

  1. You need to till all the soil properly and remove all the weeds.
  2. PLANT DAYLILIES so the daylily crown makes good contact with the mound of dirt built in the hole, spread roots over the mound and just cover the roots by 2cm or 1 inch of soil do not plant daylilies too deep.
  3. SPACE DAYLILIES as close as 18 to 30 inches apart, not as far apart for small, miniature and dwarf they can be planted a few inches closer.
  4. FEED DAYLILIES by adding in any real organic homemade fertiliser, homemade compost mix will make an excellent organic soil conditioner with some blood and bone fertiliser mixed well with your existing garden soil, this will make certain your plants get fed well for months.
  5. WATER DAYLILIES after transplanting daylilies water daylilies in well, to remove any air pockets around the soil and the roots this will help stop transplant shock as well. Do not over water, water daylilies only when they dry out this is very important when transplanting daylilies into pots or their new spot in the garden.
  6. MULCH DAYLILIES apply mulch once the daylily has grown a complete new set of leaves, it is best to keep the mulch away from the stem of the daylily plant otherwise rot can set in.

Organic gardening helps you to grow great plants. Normally, all varieties do better in deep moist soils, it is very important that the garden bed is well drained. Putting at least two inches of organic compost, organic manures mixed in the soil can go a long way in making sure your plants grow strong and healthy. When you buy them it is best that the plants are clean and healthy before replanting them. It is important that you replant your daylilies as soon as possible and don’t leave them out of the ground for too long. With these good growing conditions the beauty of transplanting your plants will provide you with more flowers to beautify your home and garden.

Digging Up and Storing Bulbs

Get your bulbs ready for winter with these tips on digging up and storing bulbs from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

If you have bulbs that you won’t be able to get in the ground in the fall, you can still save them over the winter. They need to be removed from the ground before the soil freezes. Follow these tips from Blain’s Farm & Fleet for digging up and storing bulbs this fall.

Get your plants ready for winter with this how-to on digging up and storing bulbs from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

How to Dig Up and Store Bulbs

1. Dig – The keep to digging up bulbs is to be gentle. Loosen the soil around the plant, going out several inches from the main stem. Using a garden spade or fork, remove the plant from the ground. Make sure to not damage the main stem.

2. Clean – Bulbs need to be kept dry and clean in order to make it through the winter. Shake and brush off any excess soil. If the temperature is still warm enough, you can gently wash them off with water and let them dry in a cool, dry place. It’s best to avoid getting the bulbs wet if possible.

3. Prepare – Get the bulbs ready for storage. Sort them out and remove any diseased or damaged bulbs. This is also a good time to label the bulbs. With larger bulbs you can simply write on them with a permanent marker. For smaller bulbs, use tie-on labels or tags.

4. Store – Bulbs should be stored with enough room to breathe. If not, they’ll rot over the winter. Store them in a ventilated cardboard box, layering newspaper between the bulbs. Don’t let the bulbs touch each other. The box of bulbs needs to be stored in a cool, dry place–popular choices include an unheated basement, crawl space or garage. Make sure the temperature doesn’t go below freezing.

5. Check In – It’s important to check in on your bulbs throughout the winter. Check for moldy or rotten packing material and replace it with new packing material. Throw away any bulbs that become mushy or rotten.

At Blain’s Farm & Fleet, we understand your plants and flowers are your pride and joy. That’s why we carry everything you need for taking care of your garden, all year round. Visit our Gardening blog for more tips and how-to’s.

Although not impossible, transplanting during summer growth is a bit more difficult to achieve with good results. Lily bulbs grow ONE stem per year; if that stem is broken off your bulb will not be able to rebuild its girth before winter. If new construction or a residence change requires you to transplant lilies now, here are a few guidelines.

  1. Dig the receiving hole or have a large sturdy bucket, pot or even cardboard box (lined with plastic) ready. Water the lily bulbs the day before you will be doing the transplanting so they are hydrated.
  2. Cut off any flowers or buds to enjoy indoors in vases – leave as many leaves as possible.
  3. Starting about 5 or 6 inches from the stem, dig down at least 12 inches and then begin working your way near the bulb to determine its true location. Sometimes lilies will send up a shoot around a rock or be laying on their sides. It sounds like biting into a ripe apple should you cut one in half so be careful.
  4. After you know exactly where the bulb is, dig around the stem.
  5. Next lift the bulb – with stem attached – out of the hole. If you accidentally have cut off roots beneath the bulb, it is OK for now, those bottom side roots are there to anchor the bulb, they are not as critical at this point – but you will probably need to stake the plant for the remainder of this summer.
  6. Place root ball into newly dug hole, one to two inches deeper than it was growing, back fill and press down soil, water ONCE to settle soil, do not water again for at least a week.
  7. If transporting any distance in a bucket or box? Pack damp sawdust around the root ball, but do not add water. The damp sawdust or pet bedding will keep the root ball in good condition for about a week if you are moving from one house to another, but if you can plant the clump immediately that is much better. Put resting lilies into shade, not the hot sun, they need light but not hot sun while they are in boxes or buckets. Plant into your new garden as soon as possible and do not water until soil is dry two inches below the surface.
  8. If moving to pots, back fill with good potting soil and water to settle soil as above. Also do not water again for at least a week, remember they were watered before moving. If you water too much the lower leaves will yellow and fall off. Keep pots in light shade until you can move bulbs into the garden this fall after the foliage has matured and the stems are brown. Click Winter Care of Potted Lilies should you need to keep you lily bulbs in pots over winter.

Transplanting – Best during cool Fall weather.

Wait until leaves have begun to turn yellow before digging lily bulbs. While leaves are still green your bulbs are manufacturing food to grow themselves larger for next year. Lily bulbs lose over one half their size while putting up a stem, then after flowering, must build themselves up for the next year’s bloom. This is the reason you should not take more than 1/3 of the leaves when cutting stems to bring indoors. Commercial forcing greenhouses discard bulbs after cutting the entire stem, because if they tried to reuse the same bulbs, it could take the spent lilies 2 to 3 years of additional growing to recover, so it is not cost effective. Stems on lilies for vases at home can be much shorter, click on cut flowers for a brief guideline.
When all leaves have turned golden yellow or brown, cut stems down to 5 or 6 inches above ground level before starting work. Set your spading fork or shovel 4 to 6 inches away from the outer stem of a clump and dig down one complete shovel depth, at least 12 inches. Gently work your way around and under the white, pink or purple colored bulbs to easily lift them out of the ground. Bulbs which have put up multiple stems have either divided or produced smaller offshoots called bulblets. Gently tease them apart from each other, sorting as you go. Work with only one variety at a time to keep from mixing up different named clones.
With your fingers, clean excess soil from the bottom and sides of larger bulbs. There will be a group of stem roots just above the bulb that may have a few bulblets hidden within the cluster; you can use a garden hose to wash off soil to make them easier to find if you would like to save them, but any washed bulbs will need to be “air dried” for an hour or so before planting. Cut the old stem just above the large bulb and discard; stem roots are feeding roots, they grow new each year and are not needed over winter. Any bulblets that might be attached to the old stem can be gently removed at this time.
Plant larger sized bulbs with 4 to 6 inches of soil covering the top of the bulb, smaller ones or bulblets more shallow into already prepared soil. Dianna always recommends that you dig the receiving holes first, then dig out the bulbs for transplanting. Lilies do not like to dry out and an overzealous individual may tire or run out of time to finish the job in the same day, a good plan for moving other plants also, so don’t take on more than you can completely do at one time.
Our lily bulbs that are dug in winter, and stored for spring shipping, are carefully packed in large bulb crates with attention given to proper moisture levels, moved to coolers in late November and the temperature is then slowly dropped to mimic a natural winter. This is difficult to achieve in a home refrigerator, the reason why lilies need to remain planted in the garden and not “stored” bare in a shed, garage or fridge over winter.

How to Remove and Store Lily Bulbs

The magnificent lily flower grows from carefully tended bulbs each year. The exotic flowers provide fragrance and color to any flower bed. Lifting the bulbs in the fall adds protection from harsh winter weather and allows the bulbs to go dormant or gives them a state of rest. Proper storage keeps the lily bulbs plump and fresh for spring planting and summer blooms.

Lift the lily bulbs in the fall after all the foliage has turned brown and died back. The bulbs are still gathering nutrients while the slender green leaves are growing.

Use a garden fork or pitch fork to gently loosen the soil where the lilies are planted. Comb the soil gently with the fork to locate and lift out the lily bulbs.

Run your hands through the soil to locate any smaller bulbs not picked up by the garden fork. Gently lift these bulbs from the soil. Discard any bulbs that appear broken or damaged. Dried bulbs or those showing signs of disease also need to be discarded.

Separate any of the larger lily bulbs showing signs of division. Simply twist the two parts away from each other. Lay out the lily bulbs in a shaded area, allowing them to cure for two or three days before putting the bulbs in storage.

Add a thin layer of moist peat moss to a storage container and place the bulbs on the peat moss. Layer in more peat moss and bulbs, with the final layer being peat moss. Close the container. Label the container with the flower information to remember what colors or type of lily was stored. It is easy to forget after a few months.

Place the lily bulbs into the bottom drawer, designed for vegetables, of the refrigerator. Store the lily bulbs in the refrigerator until any danger of frost has passed and the bulbs can safely be planted back in the garden.

Check the lily bulbs throughout the storage period to ensure a moist storage medium. Mist the peat moss if it appears dry or the bulbs show signs of drying out.

Q. Over the past few years, the oriental lilies in our garden have multiplied. I’d like to divide them and replant the extras in other locations. When is the best time for me to divide and transplant them?

A. It’s best to wait until the tops begin to die down before disturbing lilies. In the relatively frost-free areas of Southern California, lilies start to go dormant sometime in October, depending upon the weather. The bulbs are never completely dormant, so you should replant them immediately after you divide them. Try to keep the roots intact as much as possible. Small bulbs should be planted three to four inches deep, and large bulbs should be planted five to six inches deep. If you have sandy soil, you can plant them a little deeper yet. Lilies dislike being disturbed so you should space the bulbs far enough apart (at least six inches and preferably 12 inches) that they will not require division for at least several years.

Q. I have a schefflera tree grown as a houseplant. It did really well for several years, and I’ve fed and watered it regularly, but for the past year or so it has made no new growth and old leaves are beginning to drop. It has been in the same location, receiving the same care and in the same pot all this time. Are schefflera plants short-lived and its time has come?

A. Schefflera plants can live and grow well for many, many years. Although lack of nitrogen fertilizer can be a common reason for the oldest leaves of a plant to die, I doubt that is the case here. More likely, from your description, I think that your plant has become root-bound.

When a houseplant’s roots fill the pot in which it is growing, the plant will begin to grow more slowly and eventually stop growing completely. This is because without the ability to produce new feeder roots, the plant does not have the resources needed to continue to grow leaves. Therefore, the plant should be shifted to a larger pot and fresh soil added to fill the pot.

However, if it is necessary to keep the plant in the same pot, the plant can be root pruned. This involves carefully removing the plant from the pot during the plant’s dormant period. Using a sharp knife, you should cut away the outer inch of all sides of the root ball. Then replant your schefflera in the same container, and add sufficient fresh potting mix to fill the container. You may find it necessary to repeat this process once a year to maintain the plant in a healthy state. For most houseplants, including yours, the dormant season is during the winter months.

Ottillia “Toots” Bier has been a UC Cooperative Extension master gardener since 1980. Send comments and questions to [email protected]

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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