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#151706 Reply

E. Vinje

Plants that grow from bulbs can be propagated by taking small offsets or bulblets from the base of the parent bulb. Place the bulblets in light, rich soil and let develop for 2 or 3 years. The same procedure used for propagating bulbs works for plants with corms.

Another method that is popular for propagating nontunicate bulbs, such as lilies, is known as scaling. Pick a healthy bulb and trim off the old roots to prevent rot. Be careful not to damage the tough base of the bulb where the roots emerge called the basal plate.

Gently peel several of the outside scales away from the main bulb. Each segment should have part of the basal plate so new roots can grow. Toss out any pieces that do not have a basal plate.

Put the scales into a bag of moist, but not wet, vermiculite. Use a ratio of 4 parts vermiculite per scale. Leaving some air in the bag, seal it up and put it somewhere with a temperature of about 70°F. If you choose to use a fungicide, dust the scales before inserting them into the bag.

Check regularly for rot, and after 8-10 weeks tiny bulblets should be noticed at the base of the scales. Plant the scales 1/2-inch deep in a container filled with organic potting soil. Keep the plants in a warm, bright spot and make sure the soil stays moist. New leaves will shoot up in the spring. When these leaves die back at the end of the growing season, separate and replant the new bulbs.