Plant Profiles Index > Lycoris radiata

I've had limited success with red spider lilies. Frustrated with the lack of bloom the last several years, I moved them from under a cedar elm to the edge of the meadow, where the dirt is richer. Although I was cautioned not to expect bloom in the same year I moved them, they are blooming well now. Perversely, the clump that is blooming best is stuck in a crack between the wall and the air conditioner, in mucky unamended clay. However, this spot was under three inches of water when it rained in August and that makes me think that what the red spider lilies have wanted from me is much more water--specifically water about a month before they bloom. Looking at my garden diary, I confirm that the only other year they bloomed well was 1996. We had heavy rains and flooding in August of that year, too.

I thought I had retrieved all the bulbs around the cedar elm, but 20 or 30 left there bloomed about two weeks later than those I transplanted this year. Red spider lilies multiply freely and produce green leaves every fall, even though they are persnickety about blooming. But now that I've discovered the trick of them, I will try to make better use of all the volunteers left by the Former Gardener.

photo: red spider lily Lycoris radiata 2001-09-20 Austin, TX
photo: red spider lily
Lycoris radiata 2001-09-20 Austin, TX