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I am trying to transplant a bunch of pink “magic lilies…”

Susan Asked

We bought a 50-year-old house with an overgrown lawn and garden. I am trying to transplant a bunch of pink “magic lilies” before their foliage dies back and I lose track of their location. They are planted individually, so I am trying to condense them. As I’m digging up the ones that bloomed, I am running into a lot of bulbs in the same hole that didn’t bloom, but look as they are still viable: the bulb is fleshy and white inside and the roots are there and white. Are these worth replanting?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Lycoris squamigera, also known as surprise lily, naked lily, resurrection lily, and/or ghost lily, is a summer flowering bulb that belongs to the amaryllis family. These bulbs are an old-fashioned favorite that are considered very low maintenance. They can multiply quickly and tolerate most growing conditions, but will bloom best if grown in full sun. Because these bulbs multiply so quickly they benefit from being dug up and separated every few years. From what you have described, you have a lot of bulbs to dig up and replant. As long as the bulbs are still viable it is worth the effort of transplanting them. They definitely will look better in a mass planting as opposed to planted singly.

When the foliage dies back is the time to dig them up and move them. The smaller bulbs may not bloom well for the first couple of years but will eventually produce large flowers. The bulbs should be planted 4-6 inches deep and each individual bulb will grow about 2 inches wide so keep this in mind when planting.

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