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Frost Damage Care

By: Doreen Sage


A late spring frost is one of the greatest fears of a lily grower.

If some or all of your lily tops get touched by frost, the buds could be damaged and the blooms, if they open, could be deformed.

Since your bulb has suffered from stem, leaf and flower loss, it needs some special attention during the rest of the growing season. Keep watered, it the weather gets dry. Do not over water. Fertilize to renew the vigor lost by leaf loss Use a weak solution of the product you are using.

If you want to cover with a cloth, stakes should be used to carry the weight of the cloth if the lilies have any height at all. The stems will bend and may even break under an unsupported covering. Bent stems do not always return to the upright.

If your bulbs are fairly high and there is a forecast of frost, make a covering for the stems. Take sheets of a daily newspaper and staple two sides together. This will give you a bag like covering. Make some flaps on the unstapled side so covering can be secured to the ground. Place dirt, stones, etc., on the flaps so wind does not blow the cover off. Use enough sheets of newspaper so that your covering will stand up. If you need a higher cover, staple three sides. This is especially good for martagons, as they do come up early. These covers should be removed during the day.

If is also a help to plant the bulbs a little deeper. This will keep the growth below ground awhile longer.

These bulbs will bloom next year unless something else happens. Keep looking after them and since the stems may not be sturdy, do mark their places in your garden so you will know where they are next spring.