I tried an experiment recently with some Asiatic lily leaves. I read in one of my favorite plant propagation manual that forming new plants from the leaves of lilies was possible. As always I’m open to trying anything with propagation so I gave it a shot.
How I Propagated Asiatic Lilies from Leaves
I took six leaves from an Asiatic lily by gently pulling them off in a downward motion to purposely retain a small amount of stem tissue at the base of each leaf. This didn’t hurt the mother plants at all.
Then I treated the leaves with rooting hormone and put them in cups with about 2 inches of sand.
Then I filled an additional inch of sand over the treated ends of the leaves. This helped them to stand upright and covered the area for the bulb to form. I fit three cuttings in each cup so you really don’t need much space to do this. Be sure to water your cuttings. Moisten the sand so that it is damp but not over saturated. Once watered you may want to cover with a plastic bag to help retain an even level of moisture.
About one month later I checked the cuttings by adding enough water to loosen the sand and here is what I found:
The newly formed bulb is ready to be transplanted into 4″ pots to grow onward and upward and become a new lily. It will be at least a year and maybe two before it will flower but when you consider how many lilies can be made with this propagation process it is well worth it!
A quick cost analysis:
We recently bought a lily this weekend for around $6. If that is the going rate for most Asiatic lilies then these 6 lily plants I made through propagation just saved us $36. If you consider that you can take many more than six lily leaves per plant throughout the season you could exponentially increase that number. Isn’t plant propagation great?