Monday, August 04, 2014

Naked Ladies: You Can Grow That!

Lycoris
Naked Ladies in my garden:  How scandalous!

Lycoris squamigera aka Naked Lady, Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, Resurrection Lily. Truth is, they are not lilies at all and are in the Amaryllis family.





They are gorgeous and are a great cut flower as well, lasting well over a week in a vase. AND they smell lovely to boot! THIS is why I don't leave Washington, DC in the summer swelter, would hate to miss these gorgeous blooms.

Lycoris grow from a large bulb and can take a year or two to recover and bloom after you plant them. They are an old-fashioned favorite and you will often see them coming up around old, abandoned home sites. If you are not lucky enough to inherit some pass-along bulbs, you can order them from heirloom bulb companies.
 
They are hardy to zones 5-9 and prefer a sunny to part-sun location. Naturalizes by bulb-offsets. Provide medium moisture in well-drained soils. Cover with mulch in winter.

In the spring, you will see the foliage come up and then quickly die back and disappear. In mid-summer, after a good soaking rain, the tall stalks will suddenly shoot up and the flowers will appear without any foliage, hence their colorful nicknames. These are the ultimate "set-it and forget-it" plant.




Garden Bloggers You Can Grow That! Day on the 4th of each month was started by C. L. Fornari of Whole Life Gardening because she believes “Gardening is one of the most life-affirming things we can do.…We need to thoroughly saturate people with the belief that plants and gardening are worth doing because of the benefits gained.” Garden bloggers who agree post about something worth growing on the fourth day of every month. Read this month’s You Can Grow That! posts.

2 comments:

JeanieG said...

I recently 'saved' some naked ladies from a lot that will soon be destroyed by construction...I know that this is not a good time for transplanting, as it is too hot/dry. I was wondering if it would hurt to plant them in a large planter/container until a cooler time acceptable for transplanting. Not sure which would be less traumatic for these ladies. Can anyone answer which would be the best way to handle this transplantation question

WashingtonGardener said...

Great that you could save the bulbs from destruction! They hate to be disturbed and uprooted, so go ahead and plant - even if dry - in the location you desire them to be. You may not get blooms next year still, but they will be happier than being moved twice.
Any bulb experts out there want to weigh in?