Getting rain lilies to bloom

Mary Sue Ittner
Sat, 20 Jul 2002 07:57:35 PDT
Dear All,

There was a couple of postings on Jim Shield's new image list about people having trouble getting rain lilies to flower and the question about whether this might be better discussed on a different list, in this case the Great Lakes list. It makes me wish we were all in one place. Not everyone has time to subscribe to all of the lists.

But I think that this topic is an interesting one. In my travels over and over again people would tell me how much they enjoyed the topic of the week on the IBS forum and how much they missed it. So I am proposing this as the question of the week.

Please report in if you grow rain lilies and tell us where you live, briefly about your climate and if they bloom for you and for how long. Feel free to distinguish species as well. I'll post this to the Australian list and maybe Jim can send it to the Great Lakes list. People who are on those lists and not on this one who respond please include if you are willing to share your responses here. And Paul and Bill please repeat your information if you would. 

I'll go first. My conditions: wet, mild winters, dry mild summers with occasional hot days. No rain at all until fall and then sometimes not till late fall. They rarely bloom for me and when they do only one or two bloom in a pot and then only for a day or two at a time. Habranthus robustus sometimes blooms more than once a year with blooms lasting about three days. Habranthus tubispathus, now departed, bloomed late summer for a day or two several years, several flowers only per pot. The ones I planted out I haven't seen again. Zephyranthes citrina, drummondii, macrosiphon, morrischiti have yet to bloom from seed. Z. zehryi which is probably a bogus thing bloomed recently after I unpotted it to toss it and the bulbs were so robust I reconsidered and potted it back and watered it. So it was the first and only time for it. Zephyranthes atamasco, a woodland winter growing spring blooming large white flowered species, was given to me last year and it bloomed this spring and was really gorgeous and the container was in bloom for maybe two weeks as different flowers bloomed so it is the only one that may work for me. Z. candida didn't bloom for me in a container much so I planted it out and I get an odd flower in the fall every now and then. When living in a warmer summer climate I could get it to bloom more than once a year.

Please share with us your experiences.

Mary Sue

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