How to Propagate Bulbils From a Tiger Lily
Tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium) is an exotic-looking, perennial bloomer sporting speckled blooms in shades of orange, yellow, white and red, depending on the variety. In early spring, tiger lily plants develop bulbils, which are small, black, bead-like growths that appear on the axils of tiger lily plants in early spring. The axil is the upper part of the leaf, where the leaf joins the stem. Although bulbils aren’t seeds, they are planted much like stem cuttings or divisions to form an identical clone of the parent plant.
things you’ll need:
- Pot with drainage hole
- Compost or mulch
- Harvest bulbils from tiger lily plants after the plant finishes blooming in late summer or early autumn. As the blooms begin to fade, watch for the bulbils to loosen naturally, then pick the bulbils.
- Plant the bulbils in a pot filled with commercial potting soil. Use a pot with a drainage hole. Place the pot in a protected spot in your garden. The bulbils will develop roots soon, then will then enter a period of dormancy before growing a new leaf the following spring.
- Water lightly as needed. Keep the soil lightly moist if no moisture is provided by rainfall.
- Allow the tiger lily bulbils to remain in the pot at least until spring. If you prefer, you can choose to let the small tiger lily plant develop in the pot for an additional year before planting outdoors. Expect three to four years before the plant is large enough to develop blooms.
- Plant the new tiger lily plants in full sunlight or partial shade. Before planting, dig the soil to a depth of 10 inches, removing any rocks or large clods. Dig a hole and plant the new tiger lily at the same depth it was located in the pot. Firm the soil around the roots.
- Water the new tiger lily after planting, then keep the soil moist until you see new shoots emerge. Thereafter, water tiger lily occasionally during hot, dry weather. Water deeply enough to saturate the roots, then allow the soil to dry before watering again.
- Spread 2 to 3 inches of well-rotted compost or a mulch such as clean straw or shredded bark around the tiger lily plant in spring. Refresh the mulch in autumn to protect the roots during the winter.