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How to Cultivate Gloriosa Lily Tubers


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The Gloriosa lily, which originates from Africa, grows in USDA zones 8 to 12, with temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity levels of 50 percent or more. It produces a 6- to 7-foot vine with bright, exotic, orange and red, 3- to 4- inch-wide blossoms. Growing the Gloriosa lily in less temperate zones is not difficult if you treat them as a non-hardy perennial and bring the tubers inside during the winter.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

  • Shovel
  • Garden fork
  • Humus
  • Liquid plant fertilizer
  • Trellis
  1. Plant the tubers in the early summer after all dangers of frost have passed in an area where they can get at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.

  2. Plant the tubers on their sides in holes 2 inches deep and at least 10 inches apart in humus-rich soil filled with composting leaves and bark. Tamp the soil area over the tubers slightly to make good soil contact and to remove any air pockets around the tubers.

  3. Water the tubers immediately after planting with about a quart of water per tuber. Continue to water the emerging vine every couple of days. Include 1/2 tsp. of liquid all-purpose plant fertilizer with each gallon of water every week.

  4. Provide a 6- to 8-foot-long, 3-foot-wide trellis for each vine to grow up onto, or plant them at the base of a hedge or fence where they can creep over. Trellises can vary from bamboo poles woven together and then set against the sunny side of the house, to latticework secured against the sunny end of a porch, or against a south-facing garden wall.

  5. Divide the tubers in the spring before they start growing into new plants. Use a garden fork to carefully slide under the tubers and lift them from the ground. Break apart the tubers that are close to 3 inches long to start new plants. Set the original mass back in the soil and cover the soil over them. Find another spot to plant the new tubers.

  6. Lift the tubers in areas cooler than USDA zone 8, using a garden fork or shovel to take them out of the soil. Remove the loose soil and cover them with slightly damp peat moss in a bucket so that no parts of the tubers are exposed to the air. Store them in a basement or crawl space where you can protect them from freezing.

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