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Go Native: Rainlilies!

Florida is home to many gorgeous and desirable native plant species. One to consider for your landscape is the rainlily, Zephyranthes and Habranthus spp. They are easy to care for and are bothered by few pests.

Cuban rainlily, Zephyranthes rosea. Photo: John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Cuban rainlily, Zephyranthes rosea. Photo: John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

As the name implies, rainlilies do thrive when getting consistent rain or watering. A good soaking rain event will result in blooms within a few days. This love for moisture makes them perfect for rain gardens.

Atamasco rainlily, Zephyranthes atamasco. Photo: Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org.

Atamasco rainlily, Zephyranthes atamasco. Photo: Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org.

Plant the bulbs or transplants in full sun to part shade in moist but well-drained fertile soil. Let them be for many years in order to form large impressive clumps and that is when they flower the best. You can also separate the clumps every few years to colonize new areas and pass along to others. After the plants bloom they will reliably set seed that you can collect to start rainlilies in other parts of your garden. However, the seeds are viable for only a short time so you should plant them immediately.

For sources of plant material, try your local nursery that tends to carry native plants or through online sources.

For more information:

Rainlily, Zephyranthes and Habranthus spp.: Low Maintenance Flowering Bulbs for Florida Gardens

 

One Comment on “Go Native: Rainlilies!

  1. Lubber grasshopper candy. Some years I couldn’t get a bloom because the plant was eaten down to the ground.

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