Crinum lilies, part of the Amaryllis family in South Africa, are a subtropical plant that thrive in hot and humid areas. In the United States, Crinum lilies can be found growing from Houston to Miami. They grow rapidly, grow up to five feet tall and display enormous flowers. Crinum Lilies can come in both the green and red varieties. The Red Crinum Lily displays a magnificent pink bloom while the green Crinum Lily shows off a cloud white flower. The flowers last for only a couple of days, but can be cut off for display in your home in a vase.
They are a perfect plant for a moderately skilled gardener. All you need is the right temperature, amount of hydration and generous sunlight.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- One bag garden soil
Pick a location in your landscaping with full to partial sun. Crinum lilies grow and prosper best in direct sunlight, but a dappled sunlit spot under a tree would be fine.
Dig a hole twice the size of the root bulb of the lily. Make sure the hole is twice as deep as the root bulb as well. If you are dividing the bulb and there is little root bulb, it is always safer to make the hole bigger than you think you may need.
Add about a gallon of garden soil into the hole and mix with the existing soil from your landscaping. Garden soil with moisture retention beads are best. This type of soil will reduce the amount of watering you need to do while increasing the amount of water the soil holds.
Water the hole thoroughly so the soil is damp. Fill the hole until a small puddle remains in the hole. It is at this point you know the soil is completely saturated.
Place the lily into the hole and backfill. Compact the soil tightly around the planted lily. If you do not compact the soil enough, gaps in the soil can encourage problems in disease and stunted growth. Slowly sprinkle the soil around the plant, compacting as you go.
Water the soil around your newly planted lily. The soil may compact and sink in. Add more soil if needed. Repeat the compacting and water one more time. You may leave a raised ring of soil around the base of the planted Crinum Lily. This raised ring may capture rain and encourage more hydration. Make sure not to fertilise right after planting. Wait at least a month after planting to add fertiliser.
Bulbs can be divided to propagate once the plant is established. Instead of buying a new plant, you can take a bulb or pup from a mother plant. Simply dig out the pup and begin digging the hole to plant your new plant. If you can't plant the bulb right away, keep it out of the direct sunlight and keep covered with a moist towel.
Fertilise monthly with a generic fertiliser for strong growth and flowering. Once the lily blooms, you can cut off the flower. This won't hurt your Crinum Lily.
Cut dying or yellowing bottom leaves as they age. This pruning will keep your lily pretty for landscaping purposes while encouraging new growth.
Tips and warnings
- The Crinum Lily grows best in USDA Zones 9-11.
- These are drought tolerant plants and may serve xeriscapes very well.