Growing Tricyrtis (Toad Lily)

Latin Name Pronunciation: try-ser'-tiss    

Gardeners seeking plants for shade are always pleased to discover Toad Lilies. Despite their common name (probably suggested by the spotted blooms), they offer striking flowers in late summer to early fall when most shade gardens could use a point of interest.

    Light: Part shade to shade
      Watering, Soil & pH: Grow in moist, well-draining, slightly acidic, organically rich soil. Plants will benefit from the addition of compost in the soil and consistent moisture. Water as often as need to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Do not allow soil to dry out.
        Fertilizer: Use compost, or apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring (fertilizer is not needed at the time of planting).
          Pests/Diseases: No serious pests or diseases. Slugs and snails may need to be addressed, especially on new leaves emerging in the spring.
            Reflowering: Plants do not reflower after the bloom fades.
              Dividing/Transplanting: Plants can be divided in early spring. Remove the clump from the ground and divide it with a shovel, being sure the division has roots as well as a growth bud for next year’s growth.
                Companions: Hosta, Anemone, Fern, Astilbe, Helleborus, Polygonatum, Carex, and Heuchera.

                Calendar of Care

                Early Spring: Cut back any remaining stems from the fall. After the plants in your garden have emerged, weed around them and apply a light 1-2” layer of compost.

                Late Spring: Once the ground warms, a light 2-3” layer of mulch will help conserve moisture in the soil and insulate roots. Check for snails and slugs.

                Summer: Be sure plants are getting enough water. If weather conditions are dry, monitor the soil for moisture and, if necessary, get out the hose or watering can. Keep in mind that plants in their first season need roughly 1” of water per week. Weed to remove unwanted plants that can crowd or take nutrients away from your plants.

                Fall & End-of-Season Care: Plants can be cut back to the ground once they finish blooming or you may choose to leave them standing until early spring.