Growing Cyrtanthus Lily Plants: Information About Cyrtanthus Lily Care

Cyrtanthus Lilies
cyranthus ifafa lily
(Image credit: Darren J Glanville)

When adding new houseplants, especially if you want blooms and fragrance, consider growing Cyrtanthus lily (Cyrtanthus angustifolius). Commonly called fire lily or ifafa lily, the Cyrtanthus lily adds spectacular, showy blooms to the houseplant collection and offers a sweet, pleasing fragrance. Let's take a look at how to plant Cyrtanthus lily and its care when growing indoors as well as the outdoor garden.

Growing Cyrtanthus Lily Plants

If you're planning a spring blooming garden, or maybe just adding to the one you've already planted, you may include some types of the Cyrtanthus lily bulb. Tubular flowers form in clusters on scapes that rise above arching foliage on some of the 60 species. Other types of Cyrtanthus lily bulbs produce bell or star-shaped flowers. Foliage may appear before blooms or at the same time. Foliage varies by cultivar as well. This plant is related to the popular Amaryllis that you may grow as a houseplant for its showy blossoms. The Cyrtanthus lily bulb is an excellent companion plant inside for the Amaryllis. Drooping blooms of some species flower in shades of maroon, red, white, or pink with long lasting flowers on Cyrtanthus lilies indoors. Blooms grown indoors and outside may be used in cut arrangements and last ten days to two weeks.

Cyrtanthus Lilies Indoors

Start with a rich, indoor potting mix with good drainage. Use a fairly large container, with drain holes, to allow for optimum root growth and to leave room for offsets to grow. Soil should be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings and light should be bright, but indirect. Plant the Cyrtanthus lily bulb for soonest flowering, or start with seeds. Containerized plants of the indoor Cyrtanthus lilies can be moved outside in summer to a partially shaded spot on the deck or patio.

How to Plant Cyrtanthus Lily Outdoors

Make sure that the cultivar you're thinking of planting is suitable for growing in the ground in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and 10. Conditions for growing Cyrtanthus lily outside should be partly sunny to light shade in well-draining soil. In most areas, this plant prefers morning sun and afternoon shade. Plant bulbs into an area where they can grow and develop for several years, at least five. The neck of the bulb should protrude slightly from the soil. Once planted, the Cyrtanthus lily bulb does not like to be disturbed. Flowering may be temporarily delayed when bulbs are moved prematurely. When you're growing Cyrtanthus lilies, they may continue to bloom through the summer. In the right location and the correct climate, they may even bloom in autumn. Cyrtanthus lily care is similar to that of other lilies you may already have growing both indoors or outside.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.