GLORY LILY, CLIMBING LILY

FAMILY: Colchicaceae | GENUS: GLORIOSA superba

TYPE
  • Perennials
  • Tubers
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Poisonous/Toxic

Plant Details

This lily relative is native to tropical Africa and Asia. A tendril at the tip of each tapering, lance-shaped, 5- to 7-in. leaf wraps around any handy support, helping plant climb to 6 ft. In summer, top part of plant bears flashy 4-in. blossoms, each with six recurved, wavy-edged segments. 'Citrina' has bright yellow flowers tinted or striped with purplish red. Blooms of 'Lutea' are solid yellow. 'Rothschildiana', the most popular selection, has brilliant red flowers with yellow bases and margins.

Glory lily can survive outdoors in frost-free areas, but even there is best grown in pots or sharply drained soil. For appearance of permanent planting, sink containers into garden bed. Choose pots at least 8 in. in diameter; fill with rich, loose soil mix. Set in tubers horizontally, one to a container, about 4 in. deep. Start indoors or in greenhouse in winter; set out after frosts. Give climbing stems support from trellis, wires, string, or even loose-growing shrubs. Feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 3 weeks. Withhold water and fertilizer when leaves begin to yellow and die back in fall. Sever dead stems and move pots to dry, cool spot for winter. In late winter, knock tubers out of containers; repot in fresh soil mix. Or dig tubers from pots in fall, and store.

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