Cardwell Lily

Sun, 30 Sep 2007 19:27:02 PDT

I suspect your bulbs suffered the extremely cruel fate that amaryllids
often suffer when they are prepared for shipment by commercial
concerns-- the bulbs were stripped of their roots. Since they are
perennial roots that build up over time this butchering can set the
plants back 2-3 seasons or longer, even if they flower the first
season from existing flower buds stored in the bulb. They often need
careful attention in the initial stages of re-establishing the root

I have several P. amboinensis and one just finished flowering (1st
time) and is now producing what look like fertile fruits, like little
glossy green oranges, without hand-pollination. It is truly a tropical
plant and likely would not appreciate low temps much below 55-60 in
winter. It thrives in shade, quite a bit of shade even, and that is
when the membranous leaf blades with their magnificent venation look
best. With proper shading it should be ok in your hot summers; your
warm nights should be ideal.  I would call it "slow" since it does not
offset readily but apparently can over time if left undistrurbed. I am
not completely certain of this but it seems to be a "monsoon season"
plant and thus begins growth at the start of summer and looses its
leaves in late fall. So, don't try to coax it into growth in spring
unless it sends out new leaves on its own.

The bulbs benefit greatly by having free root run (like most
amaryllids) and so you might try starting the bulb/s in fairly small
pots (5" or 6" diam) and once the leaves develop, and the soil
requires extra watering because of all the new roots in a small space,
"plunge" them in a planter or raised bed of loose organic mix for the
summer and remove them to a warmer location in fall/winter. This will
probably generate some trauma to the roots each fall but should bring
better results that confining them to larger containers. They seem to
do better with roots on the moist side in dormancy and generous
watering and fertilizing when growing. An organic, sandy mix suits
them. The top of the bulbs should be just under the surface of the
mix. Good luck!


On 9/30/07, jegrace <> wrote:
> Last year I acquired 3 bulbs for Proiphys (Eurycles) amboinensis (Cardwell
> lilies)
> I potted them up, but they never bloomed for me.  This year 2 sent up
> leaves, one did not but appears to be in good shape.  2 rotted.  There are
> not a ton of roots on any of them.
> I have found very little information on these other than the fact that they
> require a winter dormancy and shade.
> I live in hardiness zone 8b (heat zone 9) on the GA/FL border.  Winters are
> short but have occasional hard freezes.  Summers are very, very hot.  We are
> officially in drought conditions but have had quite a bit of rain in the
> last month, and when it rains it rains HARD.
> I would appreciate any available info on native habitat, how deep to plant,
> fast/slow draining soil, rich/lean soil, PH requirements, fertilization,
> etc.
> Thank you!
> Erin Grace
> Thomasville, GA
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