I have some resurrection lilies that I’d like to take with me when I move. Is there a way to dig them and save them out of the ground for up to a year before replanting? What about ditch lilies?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Belinda: When moving plant material we would ideally want to dig just before they are transplanted to their new home. If this is not an option and you do not have another holding space in the ground, then you can dig them up and keep them in containers. Make sure the containers are large enough and have drainage holes. These containers do not have to be decorative; they can be a plain old nursery pot; you can ask your local garden center if they have larger nursery pots you could have/buy. During this transition phase you will want to reduce as much stress as possible until you can get them back in the ground. Moisture levels are harder to maintain in a container and cold hardiness becomes a factor when the plants do not have the surrounding soil to help insulate in the colder months and help retain moisture during the warmer months. Both the resurrection lilies (Lycoris squamigera) and the ditch lilies (Hemerocallis fulva) can be saved in this manner. When you dig them up you will want to keep as much of the bulb/root system and the soil ball intact as possible. Replant them in the containers at the same depth as they were in the ground. It would be good if you can do this and avoid having them in transition during the winter months. If this is not possible you might consider packing some pine straw around your containers to help insulate them.