Tiger Lily – propagating by seed

Q: Can you tell me if I can use the seeds that nestle next to each leaf on very old tiger lilies? These are precious to me and I would love to find another way to propagate rather than digging them.

A: The small, dark green “seeds” are called bulbils. They can be planted just like a regular seed. Unlike plants grown from lily seed, bulbils develop into an exact genetic clone of the parent plant. You can also propagate a tiger lily by snapping off and planting a few of the scales that make up the exterior of its bulb. My guess is that in both cases it will take three years until the propagated plants are ready to bloom.

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