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Surprise Lilies, Magic Lilies, Resurrection Lilies, Naked Ladies, Spider Lilies, Hurricane Lilies—these are all nicknames given to various types of Lycoris.
Lycoris are strong perennials that send up lush foliage in the spring, which then dies down, and they bloom in late summer without foliage—hence the nicknames Surprise Lilies, Magic Lilies, or Naked Ladies. Because they bloom late summer/early fall at the beginning of hurricane season, they are sometimes called Hurricane Lilies. And there is a pretty bright red spidery-flowered one sometimes called Spider Lily.
Lycoris are very easy to grow members of the amaryllis family which means, like daffodils (another amaryllis family member), they are not bothered by voles, squirrels, or deer. And, like daffodils, the bulbs will split and divide over time making big clumps.
The bulbs are available now and can be planted right away. Plant them with the neck of the bulb at the soil surface in a spot where they will receive six hours or more of sunlight. Mulch with a loose fluffy mulch (like pine tags or leaves) over the winter, but be sure to remove the mulch when the bulbs begin to come up in the spring.
There are other fall-blooming bulbs that can be planted now. Fall-blooming crocus is related to the pretty spring-blooming crocus that brightens our yards in February/March, however, fall crocuses bloom in October and can be planted four inches deep in drifts right in lawns or anywhere you want fresh pretty fall color.
One fall-blooming crocus is the Crocus Sativus or Saffron Crocus. This is the flower from which the costly spice Saffron is obtained. But it’s also a pretty lavender-pink flower in its own right.
Another pretty fall bloomer is Colchicum. It’s sometimes called Autumn Crocus—but it’s not related. Colchicums have crocus-like flowers in rose pink that are about 8 to 10 inches tall. They’re very easy bloomers—even blooming unpotted on a windowsill. When they’re done blooming, just plant them four inches deep in a sunny spot for beautiful color every fall. This is another one not usually bothered by four-legged pests.
All of these offer beautiful perennial fall colors. Plant once and enjoy them every year! And, of course, there are other flowers for fall color, too. Come in and let us help you select beautiful colors for your flower beds!