INFORMATION ABOUT GLORIOSA LILY…
By: Nikki Phipps
Image by Angie Garrett Gloriosa Lilies consist of 5-6 tender climbing vines, which are natives of South Africa. These vines grow from oddly-shaped tubers that sprout and travel underground. The name Gloriosa comes from the word gloriosus, which means handsome and superba form the word superb clearly alluding to the beautiful flowers which appear from November to March.
Also, commonly known as Climbing Lilies, Flame Lilies, or Glory Lilies, these beautiful plants are suitable for growing on trellises or in containers (both indoors as houseplants and outdoors). Glorisa lilies make lovely fresh-cut flower arrangements as well. If the flowers are cut just before the petals bend back, they will last up to 8 days in an arrangement.
Grow Gloriosa lilies in well-drained, organic soil in a location that receives sun or light to medium shade. Gloriosas prefer warm temperatures ranging from 60º to 75º but will tolerate temperatures down to 50º or 60º F. To extend the blooming period of gloriosas, start the tubers inside in late winter and then transplant to the garden in spring.
Container-grown gloriosas can accommodate one to three tubers in an 8-inch (or larger) pot. If placing your gloriosas outside in the garden, plant the tubers in the spring after all frost has passed approximately 2 inches deep. The tubers should be set horizontally in the holes as well.
Gloriosas can reach heights up to 6 or 8 feet; therefore, support with a trellis or other suitable object is recommended.
Water and fertilize gloriosas while they are in active growth throughout the blooming period. After blooming, gradually stop watering, then dig and store the tubers. They can be left in pots of dry soil until spring, when they should be replanted in fresh soil. In suitable climates, however, they can be left in the ground over winter if sheltered from cold, damp conditions.
Propagating your gloriosa lilies is quite easy. Offsets may be detached or the tubers may be divided during its dormant period. All Gloriosa lilies produce large pods of reddish, marble-like seeds in the fall. These can be collected, saved and sown at a later date to reproduce more plants as well. The new plants will form tubers in their third season.
The species G. rothschildiana has whorled leaves and flowers wavy-edged petals. The crimson flowers edged in bright yellow make the blooms look as if they’re on fire, hence its common name Flame Lily. This Gloriosa lily reaches anywhere from 3-6 feet tall.
G. superbavar. Lutea has pure yellow flowers with slender petals.
G. simplex produces orange and yellow flowers that open with a light greenish tinge. The vines reach about 3 feet in length.
A special note of interest for anyone with children or pets, all parts of glorisa lilies are poisonous and potentially fatal if ingested.