Surprise! Late summer lilies, like this Lycoris radiata, just pop up from the border and bloom some random day in August or September, usually after a rain.
And a welcome surprise, at that, to spice up a summer weary border. Like any bulb, they are long lived, and will multiply over time.
There was a single Lycoris here to greet us our first autumn in this garden.
The bright red, spidery blossoms made us smile, and promised more pleasant surprises to come , over the coming year.
Daffodils, Peonies, Hyacinth, and Asian Magnolias each made their appearance in their season. Our hearts warmed to former owners of the garden who planted such beauty.
If you want to plant Surprise lilies in your own garden, Easy To Grow Bulbs is a reliable source for a variety of large, healthy bulbs.
Because Easy To Grow Bulbs offers a discount for ordering larger quantities, I found friends who wanted Lycoris for their own gardens, and split a large order of bulbs.
Now several of us grow Surprise Lilies, and enjoy seeing whose pop out first.
Grow Lycoris in a sunny area for best growth and flowering. They like moist soil, especially when they bloom.
Many lilies end up as “deer candy” before they can even open. These beautiful lilies have never been munched by deer in our garden.
They make good cut flowers to bring inside, so you might want to grow extra for cutting.
But please make sure to leave some out in the border for the hummingbirds, who love them so much!
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014