Propagating lilies: update
Well, it worked!
I’ve been checking for signs of growth periodically over the last couple of weeks, and on opening the bag today I found that six of the nine are definitely on their way to producing new plants. Why the remaining three appear to have failed I don’t know, but as they haven’t shrivelled or rotted yet I’ll leave them in the bag and see what happens – perhaps they’re just dawdling! In any case, I have more than enough for my needs, so if nothing comes of them it doesn’t matter.
In the end I didn’t put the bag in the airing cupboard as I thought it might get forgotten in there, but instead put it on the top of my tropical fish tank hood, the warmth from which has proved handy for germinating seeds in the past. I noticed that the scales showing most development seemed to be those closest to the bottom of the bag, so perhaps being nearest the heat source helped them?
Next step will be to pot up the scales that have reproduced and keep them on a windowsill to tick over through the winter until I can plant them out next spring – hopefully that bit will be as easy as getting them to start growing, but knowing me, probably not!
Anyway, I’d encourage anyone with dormant lily bulbs to have a go at this: you have to be patient, but it costs virtually nothing to do and really couldn’t be simpler!