We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button


Author Topic: Lilium species  (Read 70227 times)

David Nicholson

  • Hawkeye
  • Journal Access Group
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 12919
  • Country: england
  • Why can't I play like Clapton
Lilium species
« on: January 08, 2008, 08:45:38 PM »
In other threads Gene Mirro, Rob Krejzl and Martin Baxendale have referred to growing Lilium species from seed. I wonder if some of them, or indeed all of them, might be prepared to share with us their Lilium seed sowing  and raising regimes. I ask having just read Lilies-A Guide for growers and Collectors by Edward Austin McRae- and frightened myself to death with the apparent technicalities involved, that mitigate my normal seed sowing regime of put 'em in a pot, cover 'em with grit, shove 'em outside, and leave 'em too it. I for one would be very grateful.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Gene Mirro

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
  • Country: us
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2008, 10:00:45 PM »
For western US species germination, take a look at this article :
* western species germination.doc (52.5 kB - downloaded 495 times.)

For species lilies in general, I'll post something tonight when I get home from work.  But I will tell you this:  germination may take a long time, but it's the easy part.  The hard part is keeping the plants alive through hot summer weather.  If the bulbs get too warm, they rot.  This does not apply to modern hybrids, which are bulletproof.  By the way, there are lots of other plants that have complex germination requirements, such as Peony and Corydalis for example.  But none of them are as hard to keep alive as species lilies, in my opinion.

Edit: broken links removed and Western Species Germination notes added.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 01:03:22 PM by Maggi Young »
Gene Mirro from the magnificent state of Washington

rob krejzl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 529
  • One-Eyed About Plants
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2008, 10:31:26 PM »
David,

Most of the technicalities arise when you're trying to hurry types with delayed germination along - when you try to germinate seed as soon as you can after it arrives from an exchange and then (perhaps) have to grow it indoors through a dark winter. If your climate consists of a warmish, moist autumn followed by a cool to cold winter, especially if you're sowing your own, fresh, seed as it ripens, your normal regime will work OK (but you'll note that McRae suggests a little winter shelter, to give protection from excessive cold and too much rain).

I've used variations on the baggie method for types with delayed germination. As McRae says the amount of moisture in the medium is critical. So is regular examination of the plastic bags, since the seed sometimes hasn't read the same books we have. When you move the seed on from the first stage of incubation to the next is as much a function of when you can expect/supply good growing conditions as the readiness of the seed itself. Though lily seedlings can shrug off light frosts with no apparent damage, anything too cold is obviously a check. Once they're in growth it's best if you can persuade them that spring lasts forever. I've certainly had some WA hybrid seedlings remain in growth for more than a year just by keeping them cool and brightly lit.

The foregoing is just the observations of a relative beginner; I'm sure that Gene has much more valuable advice to give.
Southern Tasmania

USDA Zone 8/9

Gene Mirro

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
  • Country: us
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2008, 10:50:53 PM »
Yes, I've killed more lilies than anyone, so that makes me a GURU !   ;D
Gene Mirro from the magnificent state of Washington

Martin Baxendale

  • Quick on the Draw
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2861
  • Country: gb
  • faster than a speeding...... snowdrop
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2008, 11:35:58 PM »
For lily scales I use the same system of plastic bags with moist vermiculite that I use for snowdrop and narcissus chipping. I find that lily scales will produce bulbils if taken at any time of year, either when the parent bulbs are in growth or when they're dormant in winter.

Like Rob, I've used the same bags of moist vermiculite for delayed-germination lily seed like L. martagon, sowing in autumn, keeping warm in a cupboard until germination, then chilling in the fridge during late winter and transferring to pots in Spring.
Martin Baxendale, Gloucestershire, UK.

rob krejzl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 529
  • One-Eyed About Plants
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2008, 12:00:58 AM »
Quote
Yes, I've killed more lilies than anyone, so that makes me a GURU ! 

It wouldn't be interesting if it was too easy.
Southern Tasmania

USDA Zone 8/9

Gene Mirro

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
  • Country: us
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 05:28:31 AM »
Here is another good link:  http://lilyseed.com/growing_species.html

The main germination types are:
1.  immediate epigeal:  sow at 20C and wait a few weeks.  Easy.  lankongense, davidi, trumpets, asiatics.
2.  delayed hypogeal:  sow at 20-25C, allow 3-4 months to form a tiny bulb, then 4 months at 5C to break leaf dormancy.  Usually take 3 or more years to reach bloom size.  canadense, superbum, martagon.

There are other types, but I can't cover everything in this post.  In general, if you sow the seed and keep it at 20C for 3-4 months, then at 5C for a few months, nearly every species of lily will germinate.  Some seeds will require two warm-cold cycles.  Do not place the pots in direct sun, and do not allow them to dry out.  Most books on lilies have extensive lists of species and germination types.  I have not read McRae's book, but Rob is correct in saying that it's easy until you start trying to push the process. 

I don't use the baggies or the vermiculite.  I just plant the seeds in 4 inch square nursery pots, because I don't have the time or inclination to handle germinating seeds individually.  It's a matter of personal preference.

If you understand and follow the directions in my PNWLS presentation, you should be able to grow most of the species.  The bulbs MUST be kept cool at all times, or they will become vulnerable to Fusarium basal rot.  This is why I now grow many lilies on an inverted-season schedule, under lights in the basement in Winter.  This also works wonderfully for many alpines.  If you are in a hot climate, arrange for shade in the afternoon.  Do not grow lilies in bare ground exposed to the sun.  Shade with companion plants or bark mulch.  Again, the modern hybrids are much easier to grow than the species.  The negative is that you can't grow the hybrids from seed.  And purchased bulbs are often full of virus disease.  That is why I don't plant bulbs in my garden.  I grow only from seed.

The excerpt on my website from "Studies in Gardening" will give you an idea of how finicky some of the species are.  It was written in 1916, and they haven't gotten any easier to grow since then.  It was written for gardeners in the British Isles by a gentleman named A. Clutton-Brock. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 05:36:01 AM by Gene Mirro »
Gene Mirro from the magnificent state of Washington

Guff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 470
  • USA New York
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2008, 05:32:05 AM »
I have grown Oriental and Asiatic lily from seed. I soak the seeds over night, and then spread them out, onto the surface of the soil mix. I don't put any top grit or soil. Then I place them on a  heating mat, and in about 2-4 weeks they start to germinate. I suppose a heating mat isn't required, just a warm spot.



Heres a link, very detailed. I wouldn't worry about pricking them out. I prick them out at first, but so many germinated it was alot of work. Plus I noticed that being so close didn't matter, they grow fine being close. When they get bigger in 1-2 years then you can separate the seedling bulbs.

http://www.mikesbackyardgarden.org/lilyprop2.html
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 05:41:23 AM by Guff »

Katherine J

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Lurking and learning
    • Flowers from the Alps
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 08:13:07 AM »
Hello, dear Lily-masters!
Thank you for the interesting lessons  :)
I have sown Lilium martagon this autumn (end of September). The seeds were dated 2005!!! I put them on the surface of the compost, covered with grit, and left it out. There has been frost for about a month here. Have I any chance, or can throw them away?
Kata Jozsa - Budapest, Hungary
Zone 6

http://gardenonbalcony.blogspot.com

rob krejzl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 529
  • One-Eyed About Plants
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2008, 08:33:38 AM »
Quote
Have I any chance

Yes. Even if they don't germinate this year it's worth keeping the pot for several more years before throwing it away, but the chances are that a good portion will already have started germinating. If you need reassurance just carefully pull back the grit and you should be able to see small rooted bulbs just waiting for spring.
Southern Tasmania

USDA Zone 8/9

Katherine J

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Lurking and learning
    • Flowers from the Alps
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2008, 08:43:23 AM »
Thanks, Rob! It's good news. :-*
Kata Jozsa - Budapest, Hungary
Zone 6

http://gardenonbalcony.blogspot.com

Cris

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 177
    • Bolbos em Flor
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2008, 04:07:38 PM »
Hi

I'll receive some seeds of Lillium philadelphicum. Can you give me some advices to make them germinate and grow healthy?
They are plants of cold places, can the seeds be outdoor?

Tanks
Cris
Cris
Lisboa, Portugal

Katherine J

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Lurking and learning
    • Flowers from the Alps
Kata Jozsa - Budapest, Hungary
Zone 6

http://gardenonbalcony.blogspot.com

David Nicholson

  • Hawkeye
  • Journal Access Group
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 12919
  • Country: england
  • Why can't I play like Clapton
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2008, 04:30:03 PM »
Thanks indeed to Rob, Martin, Guff and especially to Gene Mirro for some cracking advice for aspiring Lilium seed growers. Much appreciated.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Gene Mirro

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
  • Country: us
Re: Lilium species
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2008, 06:57:07 PM »
Cris, L. philadelphicum is very difficult.  Seed germination is unpredictable and irregular, and the plants grow very slowly and have low survival rates.  It is very strange, because in nature they grow in a wide range of conditions. 
Gene Mirro from the magnificent state of Washington

 

In Association with Amazon.co.uk


Scottish Rock Garden Club is a Charity registered with Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): SC000942