Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gloriosa Lilies Aren't Dying; They're Just Going Dormant

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gloriosa Lilies Aren't Dying; They're Just Going Dormant

Article excerpt


Q: Flame lilies were growing in my yard. I dug them and planted them in a container. Now the leaves are turning yellow and falling off the plant. Are my plants doomed?

Your lilies are going dormant. The lily you have is from the genus Gloriosa. They are tuberous rooted deciduous perennials, adapted to a monsoon climate with a dormant dry season. It is native to the jungles of Africa and tropical Asia. The plant is unusual because it is actually a short, twining vine that is able to grasp with tendrils formed at the tips of the leaves. The gloriosa lily grows fast in warm weather, blooms and then dies to the ground. After a dormant period another vine emerges from the tuber. Several cultivars, including a dwarf variety, are available with spectacular flowers in shades of yellow, red-orange and a combination of yellow and red.

Gloriosa lilies like a sunny location in moist but well-drained soil containing plenty of leaf mold and decomposing bark. Once established, the vine responds well to feeding. The tuber can be moved while in the dormant stage. Container-grown plants should be kept dry when the plant is dormant usually in the winter season.

The vine can be weak and sparse when standing alone so is best combined with something else. A shrub can be used for support or it can be combined with another vine on a trellis. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Q: The Indian hawthorne in front of my house has no leaves at the base. What can I do to rejuvenate my shrubs?

Your hawthorne is beginning to bloom now so wait until after the blossoms finish to prune your shrubs. Then prune as soon as possible to allow next year's buds to develop. Rejuvenation pruning should be accomplished during a three-year period, only removing a third of the plant each year. …

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