How to Transplant a Surprise Lily


Surprise Lilies hail from Japan and go by many other names, such as Naked Lady, Spider Lily and Magic Lily. The Surprise Lily is a summer blooming-bulb that is one of the easiest bulbs to grow. They need almost no care and they will pop back up year after year. The tall blooms are wonderful for cut flower arrangements and the flowers last a long time. You can divide the bulbs about every three to five years to create new beautiful clumps of flowers.

Step 1

Dig 3 to 6 inches away from the fading stem of the lily in the fall. Dig to a depth of at least 6 inches. The longer the bulb has been in the ground, the farther away you should dig, as the bulb multiplies while in the ground and you don't want to damage the bulb or the roots. Remove the bulb with the stem intact and replant right away.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice as wide as the bulb and 4 to 5 inches deep. Place 1/2 inch of compost in the bottom of the hole.

Step 3

Place the bulb in the hole with the stem still intact and coming up out of the hole past ground level.

Step 4

Fill in the hole around the dying stem with soil and press down firmly. Water well to compact the soil and add more soil if needed.

Step 5

Mulch around the stem to keep the ground warmer through the winter. Cut off the stem when it is completely dead. The bulb may not flower the following summer, but water it a few times anyway. It will come back the summer after that unless it was damaged by digging it out.

Things You'll Need

  • Surprise Lily bulb
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Spade


  • Floridata: Lycoris squamigera
  • Moving Flower Bulbs
  • In My Kitchen Garden: Growing and Loving Surprise Lilies
Keywords: transplanting a Surprise Lily bulb, moving summer blooming bulbs, caring for bulbs

About this Author

Dale DeVries has been cooking for over 40 years. First teaching her five daughters to cook, she quickly moved on to teaching at a private High School. Dale has catered parties and weddings throughout her life, from gourmet to the simple family type dinners. She says the fun is in creating new recipes that noone has heard of.