Resurrection Lily

Wed. Aug. 23, 2017

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

Moving into a new home always brings a sense of adventure in the garden.  Scoping out what the previous owner chose to plant,  and deciding what you’ll do with those gifts.   What’s fun is to find a plant that you’ve never seen or heard of and like it!  That is the Resurrection Lily.

Resurrection lily 2017

While they grow foliage in the summer, it dies back to the ground and looks pretty awful, like they’re dead!  But, whoa, the aptly named resurrection lily shoots up a thick stalk and at the top are beautiful, ethereal pale lavender flowers!

Resurrection lilies August 2017

The resurrection lily goes by a variety of other common names, including the belladonna lily, the naked lady and the magic lily. A native of South Africa, the lily gets its name because, as I explained, in midsummer the leaves shrivel up as if the plant is dead. This member of the Amaryllis family is said to be hardy to zone 5.  But I live in zone 4b. The resurrection lily prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade.  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.