Why aren't my lily bulbs emerging?

Asked May 8, 2015, 3:47 PM EDT

I planted various spring bulbs this year, purchased from an online reputable company. They shipped the bulbs according to my zone, zone 5, and I planted each within the time frame and using the care instructions provided. I understand spring-planted lily bulbs don't bloom until late summer if at all the first year, but shouldn't I be seeing at least some growth/emergence at this point? The varieties I planted are the giant lily 'Big Brother' and the double Oriental lily 'Broken Heart.' I also planted a variety of a windflower and a saffron fire flower. None of my bulbs planted for a few weeks are showing any signs of emerging and I can't find any information on how long I should wait. Lilies I planted last year from potted plants are already emerging and growing quickly.

Fulton County Indiana lilies lrk

1 Response

The ground is just now warming up for those bulbs to break dormancy. You could "check" one by digging ONE up and inspecting it. It has likely begun to grow. If you have a ground thermometer, you may want to check the soil at 4-6 inches (or whatever depth the bulbs were planted at. It is likely the soil is still between 45-55 degrees.

Your other bulbs have had the benefit of accumulated small growth spurt opportunities that presented themselves in the late fall and at various times during the winter.

Best of luck,
Scott