Home Paint techniques Zephyranthes or Rain Lily: A hardy bulb for pot and rock gardens

Zephyranthes or Rain Lily: A hardy bulb for pot and rock gardens

by Eva

Zephyranthes or Rain Lily: A hardy bulb for pot and rock gardens

Zephyranthes are hardy bulbs that range from 5 cm to 30 cm in height. This makes them great for using in rock gardens. When in bloom, plants carry pink, red, white, or yellow funnel shaped flowers.

Zephyranthes or Rain Lily is a bulbous perennial in the Amaryllis family that is native to southern North America south to Central and South America. There are over 70 species along with numerous hybrids and cultivars. In the wild, plants often burst into bloom immediately following periods of significant rain, hence the common name. 

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These bulbs prefer well-drained soils in sun to part shade and bloom in spring, summer or fall depending on the species. Many bloom from summer to fall. The flowers come in white, yellow, and shades of pink. Most have grass-like foliage but some species have wider leaves. They are listed as hardy in zones 7-10 but some may tolerate colder temperatures.

Use in rock gardens, borders, pathways or small spaces. They can also be used in containers and brought indoors if desired.

Growing Region: Zones 7 to 10; can be grown as annuals in zones 3 to 8.

Flowers: Species dependent: Spring, summer, autumn.

Flower Details: White, yellow, pink, red. Crocus-like. Funnel-shaped. Erect straight up stems. Even stamens.

Foliage: Deciduous or evergreen. Grassy. Green, often with a bronze tint.

Grow Outside: Usually grown from bulbs as seed grown plants can take over three years to bloom. Seeds: Cover. Spring or autumn. Bulbs: 5–8 cm. Mid-autumn in warm areas or following the last frost in cooler areas.

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Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Slightly acidic to neutral soil pH 6 to 7. Light, rich soil. Moist soil. Regular watering during dry periods. Complete spring fertilizer. Store bulbs indoors in sand for the winter in cooler areas. Propagate: from offsets.

It is quite easy to look after Zephyranthes species such as Rain and Zephyr lilies. They like a moist soil – so water regularly in dry periods; give them a feed in the spring, and supply a mulch in the autumn to help protect the bulbs from harsh winters.

If you require more plants then propagate by planting the offsets that they produce.

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