Growing Lycoris

Latin Name Pronunciation: ly-kor'-iss

Bulb size: 12-14 cm 

We offer two members of this genus, both longtime favorites in the South. The colors are different, but the blooms are similar: Lily-like flowers borne in clusters atop tall, strong stems. Lycoris often take a season to settle in and bloom, but once established, they are durable, long-lived, trouble-free bulbs that produce an unexpected show in late summer and early fall. Like most members of the Amaryllis family, they are resistant to rodents and deer. Bulbs begin shipping in mid-September and should be planted promptly.

CULTURE: Plant the neck of bulbs just below ground surface. Foliage of both species appears in spring and dies off in summer, so allow for that in selecting companions. Plant 3-5 bulbs per sq. ft. in partial shade (L. squamigera can tolerate full sun) and well-drained soil. Bulbs resent transplanting and can take a year to settle in, so it's good to select a permanent home for them.

L. radiata(F930693). Spider Lilies sport gorgeous bright red flowers adorned with long, curling filaments (the source of the "spider" moniker). These bulbs prefer partial shade, especially in hot climates, and well-drained soil. In Zone 6, give them a protected location and mulch heavily in fall. Heirloom, 1750. Reliably hardy from USDA Zones -9s/7-10w. Space 5" apart. 12-18 inches tall. Aug-Sept bloom.

L. squamigera(F930593). This pink, trumpet-shaped bloom makes a real show when it magically appears in late summer. Its many nicknames—Magic Lily, Naked Lady, Surprise Lily, Resurrection Lily—are inspired by the fact that the flowers appear atop sturdy, leafless stems, long after the leaves have withered and disappeared. Superb with Hostas, whose foliage is a great background for the clusters of flowers. Heirloom, 1882. Hardy in Zones 5-9S/5-10W, although heavily-mulched plants have survived in colder zones. Space 6" apart. 18-24 inches tall. Aug bloom.