Sunday, August 16, 2015

Success at Last

I first noticed pink rain lilies (Zephyranthes grandiflora), and rain lilies in general, on trips to India. They are common there and seem to thrive with little care, bursting into abundant bloom during the rains of the monsoon season to produce pictures like this:

At The Garden of Five Senses in Delhi

At the Red Fort in Delhi

At a park in Chandigarh

So of course I had to try to grow them as well. I ordered some bulbs of Zephyranthes grandiflora in the spring of last year, potted them up, put the pot in the hottest, sunniest spot I could find, watered moderately, and fertilized once a week. A few of the thin, strappy leaves appeared but nothing else happened all summer. In late fall I put the pot on the unheated back landing along with the pots of tuberoses and left it there, dry and dark, until late April. Then I brought it out again and gave it some water. Again, scanty leaves appeared and for much of the summer so far it seemed as though nothing else was going to happen. Yet lo and behold, over the last few weeks all of a sudden lots more leaves appeared and then, two days ago, a fat pink bud suddenly popped up. Only a day later and it is in glorious bloom:

My first pink rain lily (Zephyranthes grandiflora) flowering in the Massachusetts garden

So perhaps rain lilies do just take a lot of time to get established. The heat we have been having might have also helped. In any case, I do hope there will be lots more rain lily blossoms in the future.

5 comments:

  1. I always forget about them and it is a nice surprise when they come up.

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    1. That is lovely. They do seem to be quite self-reliant where they are hardy.

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  2. Oh My! Now that's a display. I have pink ones for the first time ad must look out for them in the fall. I want to have a show like that one.

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    1. Oh I wish I could grown them in the open ground!

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  3. After seeing them in Dallas, I was happy to learn they can grow in my climate. I planted white ones and they did very well for a a few years, popping up in late summer, but they gradually disappeared in a few more years. Wish you better luck.
    Ray

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