When do I plant resurrection lily bulbs? I guess your answer will tell me what time of year to buy them. I looked everywhere this fall and no one had them.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Barbara: Resurrection lilies, also commonly known as Surprise lilies or Magic lilies, are bulbs that belong to the amaryllis family. There are several species but the most cold-hardy is Lycoris squamigera. The Japanese natives have been cultivated in American gardens since the late 1800s. These bulbs are not as easy to find as tulips and narcissus are this time of year at most garden centers. Not to say that you will not be able to find them in your local garden center but you may have better luck online. They can be sold in both the fall and the spring. If planted in the fall the foliage will produce in late winter and you will be able to enjoy the blooms the following summer. If the bulbs are planted in the spring it may take a full season before you will get any blooms. This bulb seems to be one that is more commonly divided and shared among gardening friends/neighbors. If you have a friend that will share the best time to divide these bulbs is after the blooms have faded, usually in September. They are tolerable of most soil conditions (except poorly drained soil) and will grow in full sun to partial shade. Call around to your local garden centers to see if they carry these bulbs or if they could order them for you. Otherwise, Plant Delights Nursery is a reputable online source that carries these bulbs. You can visit their Web site at www.plantdelights.com/Lycoris/products/241.