Magazine article Sunset

Does Candy Lily Live Up to All It P.R.?

Magazine article Sunset

Does Candy Lily Live Up to All It P.R.?

Article excerpt

Promises of jewel-like flowers on easy-care plants have enticed many gardeners to try the exotic candy lily (Pardancanda norrisii) sold through a few mail-order nurseries. But does this plant live up to the glowing descriptions? Yes and no. It does produce exotic 2- to 3-inch spotted blooms in shades of yellow, cream, red, pink, or purple above iris-like foliage, but it definitely demands coddling for best results in Western gardens.

If you start from seeds, sow them in flats indoors according to packet instructions. Keep soil mix evenly moist since soil that is too dry shrivels seedlings, and soggy soil promotes rotting. Plants started from seed may not bloom until the second summer.

Or you can order bare-root plants, which will usually give you flowers their first season. Be sure to plant these as soon as they arrive, since an already-sprouting plant will have a harder time recovering from transplant shock. …

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