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    Thread: Storing tropical lily tubers

    1. #1
      RCPing's Avatar
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      Storing tropical lily tubers

      I wait untill it is cold. Some people even wait until it is 40*F. I don't I just decide at the time when to do it. I rinse off the dirt and take the tubers out of the roots. I set it aside for a little bit and lay it on a baggie with the lily name on the zip lock bag. I then roll in Captan anti fungal powder and place the tuber in damp sand. I choose to use Captan, some say it is not a good thing for the enviroment. The sand is not damp enough to squeeze any water out of it. Then I place the tuber in the baggie and put it in a popcorn can with a lid on it. I can store many tubers in theses cans. I stored over 200 tubers last winter and did not loose many.

      here is a link
      http://www.victoria-adventure.org/wa...al_tubers.html

    2. #2
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      That link has a lot of people with knowledge . It is good to listen to what they say.
      Last edited by RCPing; 09-07-2010 at 07:24 PM.

    3. #3
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      Ok I have a question and this may sound strange to some since they know I have been growing trops. for quite a few years. Do you just save the tubers or do you save the pine cone shaped growing tuber that has the crown of the plant and all the roots on it if you save this what do you do about all the roots?
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    4. #4
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      My thinking is that many ( most?) people store their tubers in damp sand after being treated with Captan because it is how it 'has always been done'. That is not the same ,though, as saying that 'is how it has to be done'. It doesn't.

      And yes, I use pesticides at the nursery, including fungicides so I am not automatically adverse to their use, but I also have spray suits, respirator and the other personal protection gear and even then use chemicals only as absolutely necessary and for tubers it isn't necessary. Just by way of full disclosure, read at least Section 3 in the manufacturer safety data sheet: http://www.cdms.net/ldat/mp3K5001.pdf

      What I feel is an easier way ( and safer)....store them dry and warm. These are the tubers of tropical plants, they are formed by the plant as a survival mechanism against drought....they can take dry. Cool dampness is the condition that leads to rot and requires the use of a fungicide.

      I harvest the tubers....propagating tubers, Gander and not the "pineapples".... rinse the sand off them, remove any roots; basically make them look like a walnut.<g> I let the outside of the tuber dry and then put them in a mesh bag. Kinda like what onions come in, or use to. You can keep the bag at room temperature and the bulbs stay fine. We are a little more humid here than most, so I'll either mist them periodically or what is even quicker, just dunk them and let them drain again. It does take some experience to see when they are getting too dry....I'll try for some pics tomorrow. But rot is not an issue, no hazardous chemicals required. Really pretty elementary because in essence, you are provideing similar conditions to what they experience in nature.....warm, dry spells and not cold damp periods. There is even anecdotal evidence from the likes of Carlos Magdalena at Kew Gardens, that at least Australian bulbs that are exposed to a dry period sprout more dependably and more quickly.
      Last edited by CraigP; 09-07-2010 at 08:13 PM.
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      Craig

    5. #5
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      Gander I have saved some of them. I cut all the roots off, and rolled in Captan. Some survive some don't. What have you got to loose? I usually only save that part if there are no tubers or if it is a special lily.

    6. #6
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      Lightbulb

      Gary I wash mine off (all parts) trim the roots and pads off, then put each with a name tag (I use the old fashioned label maker with the plastic tape that you emboss the letters into by squeezing it) in a mesh bag and float them in my unheated aquarium in the basement. So the water temps in the winter hover between 55-65. The tubers occasionally try to send up a pad but the gold fish usually chomp them off. No chemicals, no toxins, very easy and eco-friendly. Green!

      Then in the spring I just pot them up and don't worry about toxins and carcinogens getting in me or in my pond.
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    7. #7
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      You know Craig, that makes complete sense. That's how they are often sold in big box stores and most of them survive and grow, even after end of year clearance sales. And that's how I have bought tubers from other aquatics as well and they've all grown. I know that lilies in the wild survive the terrible heat and drought we've had by drying up and waiting for not just rain but standing water. I think I'll try that this year.

    8. #8
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      Lots of good ideas & info on this thread.
      Nancy



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    9. #9
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      Thanks so much this really has been a good thread. I always wondered if yall were talking about the pinapples as Craig called them. A LOT of the lilies I have dont usually have tubers on them. So I guess since I did not loose as many lilies as I thought I did I might try and winter most of them over outside again, I have a really small house and dont have any place to store any indoors.
      "most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song
      still in them."
      I wish I could sing

      OK.TN.




    10. #10
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      Gary will you just leave them in their pots in the pond?
      Nancy



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    11. #11
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      Great thread..Now I have to find the walnut

      Pics would help for sure!!!!!
      Marie

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    12. #12
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      Yes that what I will do with most. I might send a few south.
      "most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song
      still in them."
      I wish I could sing

      OK.TN.




    13. #13
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      I stop feeding my tropical water lilies in Aug. I want them to tuber, so I do this( starve) hoping to get more tubers. I use pond tabs for this reason no osmocote here. It would keep feeding them and stop them from making more tubers.

    14. #14
      gander's Avatar
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      Well I for one wish that three of my lilies would produce a few less tubers. Black Prince and Miami Rose produce tons of them. Albert Greenberg and Pink Flamingo form quite a few also but not as many as the first two.

      Has anyone found that Vivip babies are really hardy. I have left them outdoors and most varieties really winter over well here.. I always find it funny the babies live but I have never once had a parent plant of a vivip over winter.
      "most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song
      still in them."
      I wish I could sing

      OK.TN.




    15. #15
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    16. #16
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      Actually, you have to hope a walnut has formed.<g> These aren't the best pictures, but I hope they are adequate. If not, I have a batch of lilies going this weekend and there might be a better model in the group.

      The first is the root ball of a sacrificial lily I unpotted for the purpose...you can see ( I hope) the smaller propagating tubers clustered around the main rhizome, which is mostly hidden by the roots.

      Next up is a pic of my 'harvest'....pretty much what they look like when removed, but there was some washing done.

      Third is a picture of the cleaned and almost ready to store tubers....and roots and leaves are removed and they are left a while to dry.

      What's left in the fourth picture is the plant proper....there is nothing there that is going to store easily....I have the luxury of repotting it and from what I have been told a large lily isn't easy to over winter.

      Lastly, is one of the mesh bags I will store the tubers in....I think Caladium bulbs came in it.

      How to get the walnuts? Well, since the thread drifted a tad that way, I 'll go with the flow.<g> Planting in small pots and stressing them further by under feeding them is one method commonly used. Some lilies it works and some it don't. If you choose to go that way, what fertilizer you use has no bearing on your success, as long as you are familiar with the mechanics of it. Tabs you can stop on a week or two's notice...though some, like Agri-Tab, claim to be a longer controlled release tab fertilizer. Osmocote, if you know your water temp, you will know how far in advance to stop feeding. I have a commercial grower friend in TX that uses Nutricote and he stops feeding in May/June, but then he understands how long Nutricote will last in his ponds. Frankly, depending on the length of your growing season....August may be too late to stop and still get good tuber formation. Many people will grow two or more of the same lily; some for show and some for tubering.

      I use a different method to tuber...letting the lilies dry out. I think it works better,as again, it mimics their natural trigger, but it is more risky or at least more labor intensive.
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      Craig

    17. #17
      gray cat's Avatar
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      Thanks for the info & the pics Craig.
      Nancy



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    18. #18
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      Marie - you can feel the little propagating tubers in the soil with your fingers. I had some lilies that were especially prolific and, like Gander, accidentally left some of the tubers out and they came back in the spring. On some lilies, I would get five or six of the little tubers and still maintain the plant . . . just depends. Try poking your finger down near the crown (but not in the middle of it) and feeling around to see if they've formed. Some of mine were not much bigger than a pea and others were up to the size of a walnut.

    19. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by CraigP View Post
      I use a different method to tuber...letting the lilies dry out. I think it works better,as again, it mimics their natural trigger, but it is more risky or at least more labor intensive.
      Inquiring minds want to know: do you just let the water levels slowly fall due to evaporation or do you pump the ponds down to get the water levels you want? How long does the drying process take?

    20. #20
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      Please keep adding your success ways of storing these beauties and I will make this a sticky so it doesn't get lost
      Marie

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