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Bulbs/lily bulbs


I have 5 packages of assorted day lilies, they have been tucked away, forgotten, in the garage for about 2 years while my husband was ill. I just rediscovered them and wondered if I should try planting them or just discard them? They are still in the package with the sawdust mulch and have been kept dry and haven't ever gotten below 60.

Hi Rita

Thanks for asking.

If the tuberous roots are still firm and not soft they can be tried. If they have any green shoots, this also means they are alive and can be planted if the shoots are not too long and pale because if they are long and pale they have weakened themselves.

If they are dried up and shriveled, throw them away as they are too weak to put any growth on and take up water.

If you do want to try them, soak them in water for 24 hours then plant them in spring in moist soil.

See how it goes and if they fail, dig them up and throw them away.

With all bulbs, they are purchased in the planting and they only store for about a month at the most and if not planted, they decline in health and not worth keeping once they are rotten or shriveled with thick long shoots.

I am telling you this as I myself planted some Gladioli that I purchased in the spring of last year and they shriveled and produced thick shoots but I planted them and they grew but winter came and killed the whole lot. I planted them in October and the planting time is March to May. I am not sure if any have survived but hopefully, some have. I need to wait until spring when and if they reshoot. The corms were severely shriveled and tired and I can not see them coming back this year.

So, I have experience with old bulbs and I think your Hemerocallis tubers should be discarded but as I said above, you can still try them as I did with my Glads.

See how it goes on whatever you decide and good luck.



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Jonathan Alderson


I cannot answer anything about propagation from seed or dividing Begonia tubers. I cannot answer anything about the temperatures for indoor bulbs.


I know a lot about most bulbs, corms and tubers that are for outdoor use or as half hardy plants. I know about forcing bulbs for earlier flowering indoors and how to care for them during that time and how to maintain a good standard of health. I can answer questions about the planting times, watering, care after flowering and lifting of the tender types or the forced varieties. With the garden types, I know a lot about the planting dates and when they flower and about the different varieties or forms. I know how to plant them and how deep to plant them. I do not know much about the true indoor bulbs but know quite a bit about the Hippeastrum. I know a lot about Narcissi, Crocus, Iris Recticulata, Muscari, Hyacinthus, Tulipa and Anemone Coronaria. The other bulbs for outdoors are part of my knowledge and I can answer most things about them but it is mainly spring flowering bulbs I know about. I also know a bit about Lilium and Gladiolus hybrids too. I have a lot of books on this subject and grow my own bulbs every year and I know about the storage of most types. I do know a bit about the Dahlia too and storing them over winter and then getting them ready for cuttings in spring.

Trade Base Community Allotment Association.

I have an NVQ Level 1 in horticulture.

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