Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lilies From Seed

Growing lilies from seed can be enjoyable and easy. The seed of lilies are easy to handle and fall into two different groups. Epigeal and hypogeal germination are the two basic groups that lily seeds fall into. Epigeal germination is quicker to start taking any where between two and ten weeks to start showing the first leaf. Hypogeal germination is slower and often a delayed starter. Hypogeal seeds usually start slow with only a root and a small bulb forming before needing a cold period. Once they go through a cold period of rest the will begin to grow and push the first leaf up out of the soil. With over 80 species of lilies from all over the world the hardest part is what lily to start with and the next one to try.

I am going to go through the very basics of starting the epigeal seed first.

What you will need to start lilies from seed is:

- Pots or trays that 4 to 6 inches deep

- Moistened potting soil

- Tags and a water proof marker

- plastic wrap or other clear plastic to cover

-A warm window and some water
The first thing you start with is add some moist soil to your pots or tray to with in 1 inch of the top and lightly firm evening out the surface. spread the seeds out evenly over the soil then cover with about 1/4 inch of soil. lightly firm up the covering soil and give a light watering. Next mark on the tag the name of the lily and the date, and place it into the pot or tray. Cover with your plastic wrap, this will help keep the soil and seeds from drying out to fast. Then it is off to a warm window.
You will see some growth in 3 to 6 weeks depending on the variety of lily you are starting, some can take up to 10 weeks to start showing any life.

The photos you see here are lily seeds I have just started. The species lily is the coral lily - lilium pumilum. A very easy lily to start and they usually show growth very quickly.

I will have a few updated pictures as these lilies start growing and progressing.

I am always interested in trying out other methods to see if I can find a better and quicker way to get more lilies started. So what kind of tricks do you use to get lilies started from seed?

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