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#94670 September 8th, 2006 at 09:55 PM
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Since my surprise lilies have finally died back, I was outside digging them up. They haven't been divided in 5 years. This is my first time digging and dividing a buried bulb. It did not go well. The second batch I dug only had a single stem coming from the ground, but, unfortunately, had probably 7 very large (at least fist size) bulbs. about 5 I cut clear through with the shovel and 1 just got a gash, the last one apparently escaped my torture. Can any of the cut (or halved) bulbs be planted and actually grow (I wouldn't expect them to bloom next year)? Also, these butchered lilies were planted about a foot (if not more) below the surface. Could that be a factor in why all the bulbs didn't produce a stem/flower?

While trying to dig up my third batch (again a single stem) I dug about a foot away from the plant and have found a lot of very tiny "onions". Are these tulips? I know that there were tulips there once, but there wasn't even tulip foliage over there this year. I have probably pulled at least 2 dozen of these thumb or smaller sized bulbs. Could these be planted a bloom in a few years?

Finally, a lady gave me a sack of daylilies she had recently dug up. The bulbs were not large--peanut sized and very rooty--and had green foliage attached. There was no soil around the roots/bulbs. They bulbs themselves were already starting to shrivel a little. I planted them in some moist soil and it is looking like a wet weekend is in store for us. Are these lilies going to make it? What size is a good sized lily bulb? SHouldn't lilies be divided after the foliage dies back and not before?

I'm sorry for all the questions! Thanks for you help and advise in advance!

Sarah

#94671 September 8th, 2006 at 10:11 PM
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I don't have any answers for you but also found a clump of small bulbs in my flower bed. I planted them in a container so I could keep an eye on them better. After babying them all summer I now have a pot full of that onion weed I've seen in my lawn. Oh well, hopefully yours are something a little nicer!

Joanne

#94672 September 9th, 2006 at 02:31 AM
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Hi landofoz,

I had really good luck digging up my bulbs. I used the hand and knee method and my little 3 pronged hand tool. Haven't a clue what it is called. I dug up an entire bag full of crocus' and daffodils. And the daffodils had all had twins which was really cool.

My lillies that still haven't bloomed and yes I'm using the bloom booster on them and the glads still have lots of green on the leaves so it will probably be a month or so before I can lift them but I plan to use the same technique.

And yes if your bulbs were about 12 inches down they were probably alittle deep and that certainly would affect whether you got blooms or not. But sometimes a bulb will pull down all by itself. I don't know why this happens but I have read that it does. My directions that I had called for the bulbs to be three inches below the soil and I was very pleased with the result when I did that.

#94673 September 9th, 2006 at 03:33 AM
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Netwitz, I really don't want any onion weeds!! These bulbs I found are almost tear-drop shaped, with a yellow-white papery covering (like a vidala onion).

Tammy, oh, the mini-rake thing?? I didn't think of that. I have one sitting, mostly unused, on my back porch. If I had thought that the bulbs had that big of clusters, I surely would have been more careful! But, now I know better.

From one area about 4x2 feet, I got a 3 gallon bucket full of big, fat bulbs plus a lot of the little ones. It was a lot of fun finding the bulbs--I found 1 patch of bulbs that I didn't even know was there! Now I remember why I liked treasure hunts as a kid!!!

#94674 September 9th, 2006 at 05:14 AM
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sarah, those little bulbs sure sound like onion grass - break one of them and if they smell like onion, just chuck them.

taking bulbs up (especially the smaller ones) is always a slow job...gotta make sure not to damage them. i try to leave a bit of the leaves on so that i have an idea where the bulbs are actually located - then i start digging the soil away from the front of the area (a few inches away) and then move in closer/lower until i reach the bulbs.

i also try to do it when the soil is kind of moist - it's just a bit easier to work with.

#94675 September 10th, 2006 at 05:07 AM
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There is no onion smell to the little bulbs. Maybe I'll plant them in a pot and see if anything comes up. I went ahead and tossed all the butchered bulbs in my compost pile, and have already re-planted most of the remaining ones.

#94676 September 10th, 2006 at 11:48 PM
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Good luck, I hope yours turn out better than mine! laugh

Joanne

#94677 September 11th, 2006 at 05:34 AM
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What are onion weeds?? Duh

#94678 September 11th, 2006 at 06:44 AM
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These are onion weeds . I don't think that I've even seen these in my yard or garden. So I am very curious to see what they wind up being.

#94679 September 11th, 2006 at 08:25 AM
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i got a bunch of surprise lilies from my daughter. the red ones. they are very tolerant of abuse, so you might find some actually growing in the compost pile. the good news is that they seem to multiply pretty fast.

#94680 September 11th, 2006 at 08:54 AM
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I dug up a bed that I had planted 150 tulip bulbs in to divide the bulbs, A few had cut marks or were cut in half, I just replanted them, and some made it and some did not. I agree that a foot down is too deep for the bulbs. The general rule for planting bulbs ..is you plant the bulbs the same amount down as the size of bulb...like if the bulb is 1 inch in size, then plant it so that there is one inch of dirt on top of it, so a one inch bulb would require a two inch hole. And yes you should really wait until the foliage has died back before digging them, the foliage is what feeds the bulb so it can grow and produce flowers the next season. The baby bulbs you found may be tulip babies if tulips use to grow in that area...It can take 3 years for these to get big enough to produce a flower. Don't forget to use some bulb food when you plant the bulbs this will give them a boost for the next season.

#94681 September 11th, 2006 at 09:03 AM
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3 years?? Oh my, that is a long time! I'm not even sure that I'll be living here in 3 years!! I didn't/don't have any bulb fertilizer and have already replanted most of the bulbs. When I finally get my new bulbs, I'll be sure to put some fertilizer down with them. Thanks for the tip.

I might go and pull out the not-totally butchered bulbs and plant them, just in case they do survive. I've got the pink surprise lily and just love the red spiders! They are beautiful.

#94682 September 11th, 2006 at 10:01 AM
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You could just plant the babies in big pots, just don't forget to water them once in awhile, and if it turns out they are tulips you can take the pots of babies with you if you happen to move. I've also got the pink surprise lilies and the red spiders, I love them both. My pink ones were given to me by a friend who thought they were big daffodil bulbs, I forgot about them and left them on the back porch and to my surprise they started producing flower stalks laying on the potting bench, So I figured I'd better get them planted and also that they were not daffodil after all. My surprise lilies were a very big surprise after all!!!

#94683 September 11th, 2006 at 06:25 PM
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Sarah, the little tear-drop bulbs could be Crocus, Ornithogalum umbellatum "Star of Bethlehem" or Grape Hyacinth. wink

Is there foliage still attached? The GH will have late summer\fall foliage...little, thin strap leaves that look like this...
flowers%20and%20Plants/grape3.jpg" alt="[Linked Image]" class="post-image" style="height:auto!important;max-width:100%!important;"/>

The Crocus and Star of Bethlehem won't develop foliage until January or February.

#94684 September 12th, 2006 at 03:07 AM
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These were foliage free. Here are a a pic of the bulbs in question. There is an additional (and much larger) picture in my album . Please let me know if this pic shows up very large on the website--my computer only shows my pics in the original uploaded size--which is huge! [Linked Image]

#94685 September 12th, 2006 at 08:48 AM
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They look like tulip bulbs to me.

#94686 September 13th, 2006 at 02:11 AM
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Woohoo! Tulip bulbs!! I am significantly less excited about 3 years of waiting though. I'll definately just stick 'em in a pot and keep them watered. Will I get foliage next year?

#94687 September 13th, 2006 at 03:15 AM
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Do they look like daffodil bulbs to anyone else? I think they looked like mine but I just don't have enough experience to be sure.

#94688 September 13th, 2006 at 08:53 AM
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They should produce foliage, no matter what kind they are, and from the size of the bulbs in the picture, you may only have to wait two years.

#94689 September 14th, 2006 at 12:13 AM
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So, possibly, we'll be able to identify it next spring by it's foliage?? Now I'm off to find a pot for these bulbs!!

#94690 September 14th, 2006 at 02:22 AM
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Sarah yes you are right...I still bet they are tulip bulbs.

#94691 September 16th, 2006 at 08:49 PM
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my surprise lily bulbs looked like that too. could be a lot of different things.

#94692 September 17th, 2006 at 12:52 PM
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I'd have to agree with you there, Jiffy. I've got them potted up, do I need to give them any sun or just keep 'em warm? I don't know anything about potting bulbs. I did plant them in potting soil with about an inch of gravel at the bottom and about 3 times the length of the bulb beneath the surface. Hopefully that is correct.

#94693 September 17th, 2006 at 05:39 PM
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um most of my bulbs said to plant about 3 inches below surface level. Does that sound about right for what you did?

#94694 September 17th, 2006 at 06:55 PM
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plant your daylilies and mulch them with 4-5 inches of mulch this winter if it gets really cold where you live. You can cut the old foliage in a fan about 6 inches away from the root. This is the time of year to divide them and you can get some beauties on eBay right now. BTW daylilies don't have bulbs.

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