04 December 2017

Gloriosa Lily Flame Lily Glory Lily

No matter what you call it, this lily is a spectacular summer flower to grow on a fence or trellis!

These summer blooming vines are cold hardy to zone 7 so we are weather compatible. A word of caution: many garden sites say they are hardy only in zone 9. Of course, they need a sunny location for the best flowering.

Gloriosa rothschildiana
A plant guru recommended Terra Ceia Farms so I ordered mine through them. The bulbs are 3 for $10 and ship in March.
There are color choices, of course but I wanted the one I saw growing at the Mobile Botanical Garden, which is Gloriosa rothschildiana, one of the red and yellow varieties.

Leafari planting guide suggests planting them with open structure perennials, "With their vining habit and need to something to climb on; flame lilies partner well with open-form shrubs, roses and sturdy mid-size perennials.

They want dry feet and average soil, "Average, moderately fertile soil with medium amounts of moisture will be fine for glory lilies. Soil that drains poorly and allows water to puddle will encourage tuber rot. Adding a slow release fertilizer when you plant can be helpful if your soil is a bit lean.

Gloriosa superba bulbs

Keep soil very slightly moist - too much water encourages tuber rot. Roots will start growing in 7-10 days and top growth will be visible in 2-4 weeks. Plant about 6" apart. "

The Garden of Eden blog from the UK says, "Despite its tropical looks the Glory Lily is relatively easy to grow. It is best off started in pots and then transferring them to the ground during May to June once the threat of late frosts have passed.

Similar to the oriental lilies the growth of the Glory Lily is upright at first, but these are climbing plants that love to scramble. If you look carefully you'll see that the tip of each leaf has a barbed end which it uses to support itself on whatever is at hand to climb on.
Using loam-based compost - with either horticultural grit, perlite or vermiculite or bark chippings to aid drainage. To help give it a head start you can also throw in a handful of grow-more or bone meal, just make sure that it is mixed in thoroughly before planting.
Gloriosa greenii flower
Plant the bulbs 3-4" deep, in larger pots you can plant several specimens so long as they are about 6" apart. Just lay them on their sides and cover them up - they will know which way is up. Water well, thoroughly soaking the compost and then allow any residue to drain away. If kept in a warm room you can expect to see new shoots in two to three weeks.

During the growing season the Glory lily should be watered thoroughly, but again, they will need to be allowed to dry out almost completely before re-watering – never leave them waterlogged or standing in water as this can encourage rots. When growing begins in the spring they should be given a liquid feed once a week to encourage new growth. Later on in the season a half strength fertilizer added to the water every two weeks will keep plants blooming strongly throughout the summer and sometimes further into early autumn."

PlantsAfrica.com
Planted in large pots, they would be easy to dig and save over the winter.

It's exciting to try new plants and at 3 for $10 it's not terribly expensive to try this beauty in your garden this coming year.

In its native setting "Gloriosa superba occurs in semi-shade or sun in bushveld, coastal dunes, coastal woodlands, forest, thicket, grassland and savanna-forest boundaries, in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and in Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe and into tropical Africa, India and southeastern Asia."

And, "Tubers are eaten by porcupines." Not a worry in Oklahoma.

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