Hymenocallis x festalis image credit - http://photos.linternaute.com/

Spider lilies are a group of gorgeous, ornamental flowering bulbs from the Hymenocallis genus. They are mostly from the tropical or subtropical Americas, which means that on the whole they are not hardy enough to be a permanent fixture in the far cooler, northern European gardens. Of course you can grow them as a protected crop and keep them in a frost-free environment over-winter but this involves growing them in pots and bringing them in and out of glasshouse conditions as the seasons dictate.

Image credit - http://www.mtcubacenter.org/
However there are two spider lilies that are just hardy enough to leave outside all-year-round just so long as you can provide a suitably warm and sheltered position.

The first is  There is the North American species Hymenocallis occidentalis which is found as far north as southwestern Indiana where winters can reach temperatures as low as −18 °C. Hymenocallis occidentalis will bloom late in the summer and depending both the plant and its growing conditions the leaves can either be absent or present at bloom time.

The second is a hybrid between Hymenocallis calathina and Elisena longipetala known as Hymenocallis x festalis. This particular cultivar can be planted outside in sheltered parts of south and western England, but it must still be protected against frosts.

Plant each bulb about 5 inches deep and 12 inches apart. Like regular spider lilies they will need good drainage and will grow well in a soil rich with organic matter mixed well in. It is also worth adding a controlled release fertiliser such as osmocote to the immediate soil before planting. Both examples prefer a sunny position, but they will tolerate a certain amount of shade around midday.

During the growing season keep the soil on the moist side and feed with a water soluble fertiliser every 710 days.

For related articles click onto the following links:
Hardy Spider Lilies
How to Grow Spider Lilies
MADONNA LILY - Lilium candidum
SPIDER LILY - Hymenocallis species and cultivars
THE BLACK LILY - Lilium 'Landini'
THE GIANT HIMALAYAN LILY - Cardiocrinum giganteum
THE GLORY LILY - Gloriosa rothschildiana
The Golden Foxtail lily - Eremurus bungei
The Hardy Spider Lily
The Stargazer Lily

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