Thursday, March 08, 2007

Surprise Lily Bulbs Planted

Tuesday Jo planted surprise lilies out by the fire hydrant. We had two containers of surprise lily bulbs that Jo dug up when our water line was dug. Some were in a large terra cotta pot. Others were in a short plastic tote. Both groups were beginning to grow despite their ill treatment since being dug up. Neither have received any water since – when was it that our water line was laid – last August?

The group in the plastic tote have been stuck in the unfinished side of the basement where they were protected from freezing, but received absolutely no sunlight. Those in the terra cotta pot sat outside for several months and then were brought inside the studio during the worst of the winter. However, the studio is only heated when Jo is working over there, and she doesn't work during periods of extreme cold, which means they were exposed to several days of sub-freezing temperatures. (I know the bulbs are exposed to sub-freezing temperatures outside, but they receive a lot of warmth and protection from being buried in the ground.)

I also wonder what mechanism the bulbs use to know when to start growing? It cannot be day length because the group in the root cellar weren't exposed to sunlight. I reckon temperature can play a role, but the two groups experienced some considerably different temperatures. Yet, both groups began sending up shoots about the same time as those that have been outside in the ground all winter. Amazing!

Anyway...... Jo got the surprise lilies planted outside where they can continue growing, die back completely, then bloom in late July.

My previous comments on surprise lilies.