Growing Rain Lily (Fairy Lily)

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March 17, 2006
white 5 petal flowers with yellow centers
Botanical Name: Zephyranthes
Life Cycle: perennial bulb
Planting Time: spring or fall
Height: 10" to 12"
Exposure: full sun
Soil: rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil
Hardiness: hardy to zones 6-10
Bloom Time: summer
Flower: single white, rose to pink colored, upward facing flowers
Foliage: long, green, grass-like foliage
Propagation: division of offsets
Suggested Use: rock gardens, mass plantings, borders and beds
Growing Hints: In warmer zones, plant bulbs in the fall and leave them in the garden over winter. Cooler zones (5 and north) should plant bulbs in the spring and dig them up again in the fall for winter storage in vermiculite or dry peat moss. They can be kept in containers outdoors, but need to be moved indoors for the winter in cooler zones. Rain lily bulbs should be planted 1 to 2 inches deep and spaced 3 to 4 inches apart.

They prefer sites with evenly moist, well-drained soil and full sun. Give plants a boost throughout the growing season with a slow release fertilizer or work some nutrient-rich compost into the soil around their clumps. As leaves die back, reduce feeding and watering for winter.
Interesting Facts: Rain lilies earn their namesake from their habit of blooming several times a season, usually 3 or 4 days after it rains. They are a genus of a bulbous species belonging to the amaryllis family.
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