Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Easter Lily

L. longiflorum is native to the southern islands of Japan.  It is listed in catalogs as hardy to zone 7.  Here in zone 4 we have kept if alive but barely.  Plants left outdoors produce a single flower on very short stems.  A full sized blossom on a four inch stem is comical at best.  Bulbs that were moved indoors during the heart of winter did produce normal foliage and clusters of flowers.  So the bulk of our bulbs were prepared for indoor forcing.  The rest were planted in the last available pot in the lily sod house.

These three pots are near the house by a south facing wall.  Protected from north winter winds, this is the warmest spot that we have.  Each pot contains one large bulb and three medium sized ones.  The pot in a pot trick is designed to make the removal of a pot from the frozen ground possible.  A layer of dried grass between the pot bases raises the inner pot a bit.  This may keep the pots from sticking together.  On January first one pot will be pulled from the ground and placed in a cool dark corner of the basement.  Three weeks later it will be moved upstairs to the relative warmth of our bedroom and placed near a south facing window.  At that time a second pot will be moved indoors.  After June first the contents of each pot will be planted out in the garden.

The single pot left outside all winter will get protection from late frost.  It to will be planted out in the garden after June first.  We expect short growth and single flowers but these plants will do one special thing.  They will produce a multitude of daughter bulbs.  Better note taking would tell us how large these bulbs will grow with two seasons of outdoor growth.

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