Resurrection lilies

Mon. Aug. 26, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Resurrection lilies

Looking as though they appear from nothing, Resurrection lilies rise from the soil in all their glory this time of year.

2019 photo by Teri Knight

I remember moving into my “new-to-me” home in 2012 and scoping out what the previous owner chose to plant,  and deciding what l would do with those gifts.

When the Resurrection Lily suddenly appeared I was so taken by it. I’d never seen one before.  A native of South Africa, the lily gets its name because in spring it grows beautiful foliage, by midsummer the leaves shrivel up as if the plant is dead and nothing looks like it’s going to happen.

Resurrection lily foliage in July 2019
Up from the grave they arose! I feel like singing a hymn

The previous owner told me that I wouldn’t see this flower coming and I didn’t. I have since renovated all the areas and moved the lilies several times, at one point thinking I’d killed it. 

Not only have they come back in my vegetable garden, they continue multiplying and one also snuck into my perennial bed. Actually it was there for a couple of years but never flowered till THIS year!

Resurrection lily among my daylilies 2019

The resurrection lily goes by a variety of other common names, including the belladonna lily, the naked lady and the magic lily.

Within days of the stalks coming up, the flowers are blooming!

Then, much to my delight, large lily blossoms appear on top of the bare stems.  The resurrection lily prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade.

August 2019 photo by Teri Knight

The stalk grows to over 2 feet tall and produces about 6 flowers per stalk.  The color is a pale pink to almost purplish color. Plant bulbs 5-6” deep and 6” apart in fall. Mulch the first winter while the bulbs establish and to prevent heaving.  This lily will naturalize by bulb-offsets. Most of the websites say to give your resurrection lily moderate water during the summer. I’ve never babied it and it just keeps making more!

The blue tips just blew me away! This is the first year I’ve seen this much blue color!  This is the 3rd year they’ve been in this particular spot.

8-21-19 photo by Teri Knight – no filter!