Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Photo Instruction for Dividing a Lily bulb.

Lily bulb that produced two flowering stems over summer.
See how the original easily separates into two bulbs?

One of the questions that comes up when folks want to divide overgrown clumps of lily bulbs is where do I "cut" them? 

No cutting is necessary, because lilies actually are quite easy to divide. 

Look for a natural division where two bulbs are attached to each other.

 When a lily bulb is ready to divide, a simple pulling apart of the bulb is all it takes.  If you find resistance, don't try to force them, simply replant and let them wait for another season and two stems will emerge from each side.

After dividing, both bulbs will be flattened on one side, but each half is a self contained, flowering size bulb.  The one on the left has the bottom of the stem attached, the other stem fell out during harvest.

Let the bulbs air dry for an hour before planting back.

Two bulbs are now ready to plant, each with their own set of roots.

The hens in the background are part of our free-range chicken flock and were very interested in what I was doing.  Of course, that just simply means they were trying to determine whether or not any tasty corn (scratch) was involved.  Nope, not this time, and so they wandered off to check out the goose pen.

You do not have to be exact, this is just a guideline.

Plant your lilies back at approximately the same depth they were growing.  One and one half times the height of the bulb (up and down, not around) is the proper depth of the hole. 

This bulb is about 2 inches tall, so the hole will be about 6 inches deep, with about 4 inches of soil covering the lily bulb.

See the flattened side on each bulb?

If lily bulbs are ready to naturally divide on their own, we split them while they are being dug and cleaned, which is only one of the ways we propagate our lilies. 

Occasionally, we get a phone call that someone received "only half of a bulb", because one side was flattened.  Those may look a bit odd, but the lily is certainly a mature bulb, because it had already flowered that season.

Don't worry if you have one of these in your order, everything the lily needs for blooming next summer is already neatly packed inside.

No comments:

Post a Comment