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Hymenocallis and AcidantheraI grew 3 hymenocallis Spider Lillies this year

Renfrewshire, Scotland Sco

Hymenocallis and Acidanthera

I grew 3 hymenocallis Spider Lillies this year. It was a bit of an experiment as I thought the weather where I live would be too cold and wet for them to succeed here. However, they did and they were splendid. However, they will not last over winter as temps will be too low and the ground too wet.

So......... I have lifted the bulbs and am looking for a bit of advice. Should I let the bulbs dry out completely and then start them again early next year in pots? Or should I pot them up again just now.

I have the bulbs drying in a cold frame and had intended to pot them up early next year and keep them in the frame. But having seen how tuberous the roots are, I am concerned that they may rot.



Yu didn't mention the Acidanthera. I left some in over the summer. The leaves have reappeared but no flowers.

14 Oct, 2022


Ooops, forgot that bit.

That happened to me with most of them. The ones that I started in pots flowered and are lovely. Those flowers are just going over.

But the ones that went straight into the ground have not flowered.

So, again with these, I was thinking of lifting them when the foliage dies down, but not sure whether to let them dry out and start them in pots early next year. Or put them straight into pots just now and let them start by themselves next year when ready?

14 Oct, 2022


My Acidanthera flowered in the ground this year, but last year in pots they lasted much better. BUT I have no success keeping the bulbs from one year to the next … bought new this year but doubt if I’ll bother again. Maybe if you put yours in pots now you’ll be lucky …

14 Oct, 2022


generally I lift the tender bulbs and put them into pots of compost and then leave them on the under stage shelf in the greenhouse. I keep them barely damp to keep them plump/firm. In mid March early April I increase the watering and then move them out when new growth is visible.
its cold and wet that 'does' for them.

14 Oct, 2022


Thanks, Seaburngirl. Were you meaning the acidanthera and not the hymenocallis?

And did you lift them when the foliage had died down or earlier and simply cut off the foliage?

14 Oct, 2022


I usually lift them as the leaves start turning brown. I don't find the acidanthera hardy for me.

15 Oct, 2022


Acidanthera come from Ethiopia down to Mozambique, so that should be a guide on how to grow them. Mine are frost-free and while I did start out with them in pots, they multiplied so fast it was easier to give up and put them in the ground. They seem to live for a few years and it is the newer offsets that do best. Mine are in bloom now.
As for the Hymenocallis, most species come from Central America so they are going to need to be kept frost-free. I have a close relative (it used to be part of the group but got broken off), Ismene and it is in a large pot so there is no root disturbance.

15 Oct, 2022


Thanks, Seaburngirl and Wylie.

I did know that they were warm climate plants and this is why I was actually surprised that I got them to flower at all this year.

However, I will try to 'nurture' them during the winter and hopefully starting them early in pots next year may get me something.

15 Oct, 2022

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