Gloriosa lily bulbs are hardy in zones eight and nine. In cooler climates the bulbs will need to be dug up in fall after full senescence and stored in moist peat moss over the winter. Gloriosa lily bulbs require at least 6-8 weeks rest period, so it is important they do not dry out during storage. Gloriosa lily bulbs cannot handle a freeze, either in storage or down to bulb depth during their growing cycle. In the northern hemisphere store through the winter and plant again in the spring with warmer temperatures.
Gloriosa lily tubers are a relative to the lily family and therefore require high light levels and warm temperatures to germinate, flower, and bulk up for the following season. It is important to have well draining soil media as tubers will not survive wet, water-logged soils.
Tubers should be planted horizontally (laying flat) with the growing tip 2-3 inches below the surface. Because gloriosa lilies are a vine they require something to climb or attach to. In the garden, this can include a tree, fence, or arbor. The larger the tuber planted, the taller the flower stem as well as an increase in flowers produced. The larger the tuber the more flowers.
Gloriosa lily bulbs are a fork tuber with two legs, however, they are generally sold as a single leg. At the tip of the leg is the growth tip. The tip produces a wiry vine that on the plant can be in flower from 6 to 8 weeks. The bottom flowers open first and continue developing as the buds open up to the top.
As a cut flower, gloriosa lily flowers can last up to 4 weeks, however, by cutting the flower from the plant, the bulb will be smaller than what you started with. By not cutting the flower, the bulb will be much larger than what you started with.
After flowering, the growth tip produces another fork tuber. So each mother gloriosa bulb (fork tuber) produces 2 additional daughter gloriosa lily bulbs. In other words, gloriosa lily bulbs will double in numbers each year.
Pots, Barrels, Tubs & Urns
Start with a large container and fill with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes in your pots; gloriosa lilies must never sit in waterlogged soil.
Site your plants where they will receive full sun to light shade. Choose a locations with a bit of shade in parts of the country with strong sun.
3. Dig holes and plant the bulbs 3-4" deep and 6" apart. Take care NOT to touch the growing points on the bulbs; bumping and abraiding this area tends to reducing sprouting. Just lay the bulbs on their sides in the soil and cover them with soil. They'll figure out which way is up. It's often helpful to add a support for the vines to clamber up.
4. After planting, water your gloriosa lilies generously, soaking the soil to settle it around the bulbs. Roots and sprouts will
form in a few weeks and these plants flower at a young age. If the soil in your area is still quite cool wait until it warms
5. Water periodically during the growing season if rain does ot occur, keeping in mind that weekly deep waterings are
better than lighter drinks every day or two. About 1" of water per week is a good estimate of the amount needed during
active growth periods. Half strength fertilizer added to the water every two weeks usually keeps plants blooming strongly
throughout the summer and sometimes into early fall.
6. After flowering has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create
food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulb for the future. Water as needed. Leaves and stalks may be
removed when they yellow.
7. If you garden in a location cooler than zone 9 and wish to keep the bulbs for next year, you'll need to lift glory lily bulbs
and store them indoors in ever so slightly damp peat moss. Or you can just replace them next spring for another season
of exotic winged blooms.
8. Your gloriosa lilies will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle in the spring.