Caring for the Crinum Lily With Style

Crinum Lilies are a bold addition to any home or garden. Crinum Lilies are a tropical plant and prefer lots of sun and a good amount of water. Make sure they get it, and you’ll benefit from this sweet-smelling perennial plant year after year. The bulbs can grow quite large and weigh up to 20 pounds, so dividing is best done during fall and winter months when foliage is smaller. It can take a few years for the bulb to establish and flower, but once it has, you will enjoy it for decades.

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About the Crinum Lily

The Crinum Lily is native to Southeast Asia. However, it has become a popular hallmark for gardens and planters in the United States. This elegant plant has many species and garden hybrids.

crinum lilyPhoto by anurajrv licensed under CC0.

You’ll appreciate the colorful flowers this plant produces in the spring and summer months. Crinum Lily flowers have a sweet scent that will fill your home. The Crinum Lily is relatively resilient despite its delicate looking flowers.

Once settled, the Crinum Lily can do well with little care. Due to its perennial bulb, it will continue to grow year after year with little effort on your part.

When used for landscaping purposed the Crinum Lily can reach up to 3-5 feet in height. Potted Crinum Lily’s won’t grow quite as large.

According to The University of Florida, the Crinum Americanum is also referred to as the Swap Lily and works great near the bank of ponds and streams. Mix up your foliage with one of the purplish varieties of Crinum Lily.

How to Plant a Crinum Lily

To get started with your Crinum Lily, make sure you have selected an area where you will likely want them to remain. Re-potting or moving your Lily too often can shock the plant. If you are planting them in a pot, use a combination of peaty soil and coarse sand.

Plant the bulb up to the neck and try to do so during the spring as they may do poorly as new plants in cold climates. If you want to start your Crinum Lily during these months, it’s best to do so indoors.

Crinums also work great as a border plant. If planting a few bulbs, make sure to separate them two to three feet apart as they can grow quite large.

For the Crinum Lily, use well-drained soil and make sure to keep them moist and watered until they are more developed and flowering. At that point, you can reduce the watering frequency.

Remember, these plants thrive well on their own, so make sure you plant this aromatic flower in a spot where you can enjoy it for years to come. They can be very hard to move with developed bulbs weighing up to 20 pounds.

They are beautiful as cut flowers but don’t worry, after the fall and winter months, they will come back to life with warm weather and water.

In the short YouTube video above, you’ll get a chance to see first-hand how to pot a Crinum Lily step-by-step.

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Caring for Your Crinum Lily

This plant has an incredible reward for little effort. It is well known that the Crinum Lily flourishes around cemeteries due to its low maintenance needs. If you plant the bulb well and patiently await its flower, you’ll be set. Once it matures, your flowers will thrive during the warm seasons with consistent watering.

Water Needs

While these plants do well during droughts, make sure to keep them watered well during prolonged dry periods. Once the flowers have bloomed, you can cut back on the frequency of watering. When starting out, make sure to plant the bulb is in an area where it will receive plenty of water but also have decent drainage.

Watch this informative YouTube video above to learn some helpful care tips when it comes to Crinum Lilys. You’ll also get a chance to see the many different varietals of the plant.

Lighting Needs

The Crinum Lily excels in the spring and summer. Good light and direct sunlight are crucial for this fragrant plant. Crinum Lily’s should receive at least 2-4 hours of direct sunlight. However, many hybrids do well in partial shade.

Crinum lilies are heat and moisture loving plants, as Gardening Know How explains. As previously mentioned, it is important to plant the bulbs in spring so that they get the most of the sunny weather.

If planting in pots or tubs, try to bring them inside during colder, winter months and return outdoors after the frost is gone. Don’t worry too much if you can’t. With a good amount of water and sunlight, they’ll be just fine in the spring.

Soil Needs

You will have little stress with the Crinum Lily as it likes wet or dry, well-drained soil. When planting these in a tub or pot, you can simply mix in some sand to help with drainage.

A layer of mulch will also protect the bulb from cold or harsh weather. The mulch can trap moisture in while providing the bulb with an added layer of warmth.

When planting initially, promote good drainage in the soil so that the bulb doesn’t sit in the water. Using humus rich soil is helpful.

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Feeding Needs

Supply your lily with plant food once a month when the flower blooms. Use a fertilizer high in phosphorus to help it bloom. Avoid feeding the plant when it’s not actively growing such as fall and winter months. Fertilizer can be stressful for the bulb during the resting period for this plant.

Pruning Needs

The Crinum Lily is a lovely cut flower. However, if a flower begins to fade, snap it off, and a new one will open shortly. As the plant grows tall, there can often be draping leaves or foliage that will leave it looking messy. You can just trim these and remove and dying bottom leaves.

Dividing the plant is best done during the winter months. During the summer, you’ll find it’s more difficult as the foliage can be cumbersome.

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