How to Dig Up Asiatic Lily Bulbs

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Asiatic lilies are popular for their wide range of colors and their ease to grow. Asiatic lily bulbs are known for being hardy, multiplying quickly and blooming early in the season. For these reasons they are highly recommended for beginning gardeners. But even this friendly little bulb needs some occasional maintenance. Every two to three years, or when blooms begin to diminish in size and abundance, Asiatic lily bulbs should be dug up, divided and replanted. In exchange for this small effort they will provide your garden with years of low maintenance color and vibrancy.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Burlap
  • Twine
  • Plan ahead. The optimal time to dig up Asiatic lily bulbs is in the early fall when dead or dying foliage can still be seen. This will make it easier to locate the bulbs. If fall digging is not possible then it should be done in the very early spring. It is not recommended to dig up Asiatic lily bulbs in the summer as this will put undue stress on the mature plant.

  • Divide and replant Asiatic lily bulbs immediately; prepare a new bed for the divided bulbs before digging them up. If you can not replant them immediately, then use a length of twine and a square of burlap to fashion a makeshift sack for the bulbs and keep them in a cool, shady place where they will not freeze until they can be replanted.

  • Use a spade to carefully dig up the Asiatic lily bulbs. Inspect the bulbs carefully and throw out any that are rotted or damaged.

  • Separate the new, small bulbs that will be growing from the stem and replant them. Replant the original bulb as well. Asiatic lily bulbs should be planted three to four inches deep and eight to ten inches apart. Soon the small bulbs will mature and your collection of these beautiful lilies will be as prolific as their colorful blooms.

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