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lilyseed.com > Growing > Growing Martagon and Oriental Lilies


Growing Martagon and Oriental Lilies
Delayed hypogeal germination:
The seeds need 3 months warm (70–80 degrees F.) then 3 months cold (35–45 degrees F.) to germinate. During the warm period a root and small bulb will develop. The cold period simulates winter, after which the first leaf emerges from the bulb.
The seeds may be started in summer outside in pots. This gives the 3 months warm, then winter naturally supplies the cold spell. I've found an inch or two of charcoal in the bottom of the pot helps immensely.
Grow the seedlings in filtered shade.
Sometimes it takes 18 months for the seeds to sprout, so don't throw the seeds away! I recommend saving the pots for 3 years.


Martagon Lilies
Watch the seeds closely, if during the following process a leaf appears, plant the baby bulb immediately. Keep track of the seeds that germinate quickly, their progeny may also germinate quickly.
Place the seeds in a plastic bag with moist perlite. Keep the seeds in a warm place, i.e. top of a water heater, for 3 months. After the small bulbs develop, place the bag in the refrigerator for 3 months of “winter.”
After the cold period, plant 1/4” deep in pots. Use a well draining medium with an inch or two of charcoal in the bottom of the pot. Grow on for 2 years then plant out in their permanent positions. Martagons like filtered shade, such as is found in a woodland. They look especially fine bracketed with ferns. Allow a drying-off period after flowering.
Drought tolerant!
Mature Martagon lilies don't like to be moved. They will often sulk for a season, until the roots have grown back. Plants are slow growing and can take 7 years to bloom from seed, but it’s well worth the wait.


Oriental Lilies
Watch the seeds closely, if during the following process a leaf appears, plant the baby bulb immediately. Keep track of the seeds that germinate quickly, their progeny may also germinate quickly.
First, soak the seeds in pure water for 5 days at room temperature, changing the water daily.
Place the seeds in a plastic bag with moist perlite. Keep the bag of seeds in a warm place, i.e. top of a water heater, for 3 months.
After the small bulbs develop, place the bag in the refrigerator for 3 months of “winter.”
After the cold period, plant 1/4” deep in pots. Use a well draining medium with an inch or two of charcoal in the bottom of the pot. Grow on for 2 to 3 years in filtered shade, then transplant into larger pots or out into their permanent positions. Mature Oriental lilies like their tops in the sun and their roots in the shade. Use a raised bed with leaf mold, top dressing of compost, and shallow rooted annuals to give shade to the roots. Protect from gophers, etc. Mature Oriental hybrid lilies are fairly easy to transplant in the fall. Plants take 3–4 years to bloom from seed.


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