Digging up Crinum Bulbs (without breaking a shovel)

I’ve broken at east five shovels over the years….It always happens when *trying* to dig up a Crinum.

Crinum are the giants of the bulb family. Crinum literally means ‘lily’, so if you are fancy (like me) you need only say “Crinum.” Speaking “botanically correct” makes one feel more knowledgeable than the common folks who say “Crinum Lily”….which is basically saying “Lily Lily.”  I could actually go a step further, and throw out the cool Latin names, but I’m not that cool, or fancy for that matter.

Crinum bulbs are massive. Some Crinum weigh as much as watermelons…..so basically, you are pulling a watermelon with roots that stretch 2-3 feet out of the ground. The roots cling on to the compacted ground for dear life. The best part? One watermelon simply isn’t enough to yank gracefully out the ground, because there are at east 5-10 hefty little buggers attched to the main bulb like Star Trek Clingons.

Half of you have now left this blog…..

Cheerio, my garden friends. Cheerio.

But for those of you who are “man-enough” to attempt a fight against the Crinum, get prepared for a soaking hot bath in Epson Salts, with a cocktail of Advil and warm milk.

Step one….Ingredients for the dig: Spade shovel, good hiking boots or shoes with traction, bottled water and a plastic bag to place the big, bad bulb in.

Step two…..Survey the giant bulb. Hopefully, the bulb is dormant. If not, good luck.

Step three….Pull aside all dirt on top of bulb. Find diameter of bulbs, and dig about 6 inches beyond (try to not sever the bulb.)

Step four….Take the shovel, and jump on top so the shovel goes deep into the earth. Pry the shovel under bulbs and pull. Move to all sides until you dig around the entire bulb.. When the bulb releases, you will begin to hear a “pop”.

The whole process might take 10-15 minutes for one clump, depending on soil and size. It’s an excellent time to divide the bulbs. Simply pull the bulbs off the mother plant. Each new bulb should have a root. Plant about 2 feet apart. Plant in an area where you won’t have to move them again….unless your house floods to the roof and you must save the gardens from a bulldozer.  🙂

Crinum can be extremely tough to dig….but worth every back pain you will receive. Crinum are a staple of the old-fashioned garden. A true heirloom flower. Southern charm through and through.

Don’t forget to mark your calenders for Saturday, March 9th. 8 am. Each gardener will receive a paper bag  to fill with bulb delights….FOR FREE. My way of saying a big “Thank-You!!” to a wonderful gardening community. Gardeners bring such joy to all those around, as they work tirelessly to beautify the earth.

Happy Gardening, my friends!!!!