INFORMATION ABOUT AZTEC LILY…
By: Nikki Phipps
Image by Succulentisima Aztec Lily, or Jacobean Lily (Sprekelia formosissima), has long, green upright leaves and the brilliant scarlet flowers with gracefully curved petals resemble amaryllis blooms. Aztec lilies are not true lilies but are similar to members of the amaryllis family and are the most popular species in the genus, Sprekelia. There are at least two other species in this genus, S. glauca and S. howardii. All originating in Mexico and Guatemala on rocky hillsides. Full-grown plants normally reach heights of around 12-18 inches. Aztec lilies usually bloom in the spring and will re-bloom several times.
Aztec lily is a spring or fall-planted bulb that prefers well-drained soil. Plant the bulbs so that the tops are just above ground level. Plant Aztec lily in full sun or light shade for best results. Treat Aztec lilies like any other bulb; they like plenty of water during the growing season and when blooming, but they like it dry when dormant. As the leaves fade, reduce watering. Too much water will cause the bulbs to rot.
They make excellent garden plants, thriving in containers as well and can be used as houseplants too. Container-grown Aztec lilies should be located in full lit areas for greater results. Aztec lily is a reliable flower and has well earned a place in the garden. Almost magically, they keep appearing and blooming during both spring and summer, with some even continuing to bloom into early autumn.
Aztec lily is frost-tender, but it can be grown in climates that receive light frosts, as long as the bulb is protected in winter with a generous layer of mulch. The hotter your climate, the more at home is this bulb. In colder climates, Aztec lilies must be lifted in late autumn and stored dry in a frost-free location. Aztec lily enjoys being left to establish in a clump, either in the ground or in pots. Once established, Aztec lily will multiply each year. Established colonies are best left undisturbed; however, should their blossoms diminish, you can divide and replant by separating and replanting the little offsets in autumn.
There’s not much to worry about in the way of pests. These plants are quite resistant to most pests and diseases.