Propagating lilies from scales

Inspired by this video , I decided to have a go at propagating one of my tree lilies today.

The lily in question is this one, “Monet”:


My other two tree lilies (“Picasso” and “Cezanne”) have seen fit to reproduce of their own accord over the years, but this one never has, so I’m giving it a helping hand.

As per the video, here is what I did:

1. Sourced the bulb, which in this case meant carefully digging it out of its pot:


The plant finished flowering over a month ago and is heading for winter dormancy, so a bit of messing around with it won’t hurt it at this time of the year.

2. Cleaned off the soil from around the bulb and peeled off a handful of the outer scales:


They come off pretty easily, like separating cloves of garlic from a bulb. The lady in the video above says to take about 6 or 7, but I think I took a few more than that – 8 or 9, maybe:


3. Then I put them in a plastic bag of slightly damp compost (not too wet or I imagine they’ll rot), labelled them and placed them somewhere dark and warm (the airing cupboard).



I finished up by replanting the parent lily bulb, and hopefully the job was a good ‘un!

Now it’s just a question of waiting, checking the scales from time to time, and in a couple of months there should be signs of new plants growing at the base of them, which can then be potted up for growing on.

I’ve never tried this before, so I shall be ridiculously excited if it works – watch this space!…


Posted on September 23, 2014, in Techniques and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hi, did it work? I am thinking of planting ‘Monet’ at the back of a border in partial shade, would you recommend it? thanks, Ashleigh

    • Hi Ashleigh,

      Yes, it worked very well! I posted a couple of updates later on 🙂
      Tree lilies, such as Monet, can get pretty tall – about 8ft – so the back of a border would be a good place. The only reason I wouldn’t do that where I am is because we have BIG problems with lily beetle, so I prefer to have the plants in a pot where I can easily inspect them from top to bottom.

      As for light, my plants are in a south-facing spot which is shaded for part of the day so I would say you’d be okay with partial shade.

      If you grow them I’m sure you’ll love them – the scent is an absolute knockout! Good luck!

      • Thanks for your reply. I read somewhere that talcum powder is effective against lily beetle, have you ever heard that? It’s worth a try I suppose.

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