Given the spring season, a customer wrote in with the following crinum lily question:
“I planted several of the Crinum Lilies a couple of years ago and need to move them. Is it okay to move them now?”
– Carolyn on March 3, 2011
Thanks for writing in. Right now is the perfect time! You can move the crinum lilies now, but you should do it as soon as possible, because now is the beginning of the crinum growing season. When transplanting the crinum, dig up an area of about 6-8 inches all the way around each bulb (or around the clump of bulbs) to secure as many roots in place as possible for the transplant. This will reduce transplant shock. The more ground you dig up with and around the bulbs, the better for transplanting with blooms for this coming summer season. Try to do it all in one day so the roots don’t dry out. Protect them if weather is showing another nasty freeze, but they should be fine.
-Michael on March 3, 2011
Although Carolyn asked this question at the beginning of March about her Crinum ‘Mrs. James Hendry,’ there is still time to transplant your crinum for summer blooms. Make sure to transplant in the next two weeks though, and to save all other crinum transplants until next March 2012. Be sure to dig up enough soil around and under the bulbs when transplanting, especially as more foliage emerges over the next two weeks. Here are some final tips:
1) Dig your second hole (the crinum’s new home) before digging up the crinum from its first location.
2) Water the second hole moderately to moisten soil just before digging up the crinum to transplant.
3) Make the quickest transplant between the two holes, so that the crinum hardly notices it was out of the ground.
4) Use a wheelbarrow or large shovel to move the crinum along with all the soil surrounding it. If the crinum clump is massive and years old (like in the photo below), you should divide the clump into multiple segments for transplanting. Dividing into multiple segments will shock the bulbs/roots just a bit, but as long as you follow the protocol on this page, the clump should be OK.
5) If you aren’t able to handle the heavy load of crinum and soil, ask an able-bodied person for assistance (a single, mature clump of crinum with soil can weigh anywhere from 20 to 200+ pounds – see photo below). If you’re strapped for cash, maybe you could offer a few of your bulbs in exchange for the transfer.
Don’t be surprised if the current foliage dies away after transplant. If you follow the steps above, the bulb will do fine and new foliage should emerge within 2-3 weeks. Take a look at the massive Pink Crinum Lily (Crinum powellii Roseum) below!