People have been planting Crinum lilies in Florida gardens for many years.
Some plants can be found flourishing on the sites of old homes or cemeteries around Florida. They come in very compact varieties
that grow to only about 13 inches tall to some species that grow to be six feet tall. If you have the room, you might consider
planting one or more of these easy care plants.
are fragrant and are borne on stalks that range from two to five feet tall. Summer is the bloom time and depending on the
variety, you can have white, pink, rose or striped
flowers. The large whorl of leaves provide an interesting texture
in the landscape the rest of the year. There are even varieties that have striking burgundy to purple leaves.
These plants are drought tolerant, but also do not mind having wet feet
at the edge of ponds. There are over 100 species of Crinum, but not all of them are available in the nursery trade. Crinum
americanum or swamp lily is a Florida native that does prefer to be planted near pond or stream banks.
When choosing a crinum to plant, pay careful attention to the mature size of
the variety you are choosing so that you can make certain to provide adequate space for it to grow and thrive. Keep in mind
that they can live for many years and the bulb will produce offshoot bulbs over time that can be removed and planted in other
locations or shared with other gardeners. Now is a
good time to plant crinums with the warm temperatures and rains so that
they can become well
established before winter. If planted in late fall to winter,
they are more likely to suffer from cold damage. If they are damaged by frost or freeze, new foliage should sprout from the
underground bulb in the spring.
When planting, bury the bulb
up to the slender neck of the bulb in partial shade. They will grow in the sun, but prefer part shade. They grow in rich
moist soil or dry sandy soil and once they are established, they will require only irrigation during very dry times. Remove
old flower stalks to encourage repeat blooms. pest is the Eastern lubber grasshopper. Crinums
are a favorite meal for these insects so watch for them hatching from the ground in the early spring. You need to control
them with Sevin dust or a pyrethroid insecticide when they are still black and very small (see picture). Once they mature
to the large yellow grasshoppers the only way to kill them is to pick them off and squash them. You can always pay a kid
to do this for you!
As with nearly all plants in Florida, crinums do have a few enemies. Crinums
can be affected by red blotch fungus, which causes red spots on leaves, or another fungus that causes yellow streaks on the
leaves. Plants seem to grow out of these infections, Spider mites can be a problem during our hot dry springs, but can usually
be controlled with Neem oil spray. The worst
For more information on crinums, visit these
University of Florida sites:
Crinum americanum String Lily, Swamp Lily http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp154
Crinum Lily http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp155
Pictures from University