What is Gloriosa Lily?
The Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa superba) has many common name such as Glory Lily, Creeping Lily, Flame Lily, Climbing Lily, Tiger Claw. A member of the Colchicaceae family it originated from Tropical Africa and Southern Asia. A climbing tuberous perennial that uses tendrils at the ends of its leaves to climb surrounding plants or structures. The distinctive flowers develop prominent stamens and the petals extend backwards as the flower matures. Gloriosa spurba ‘Rothschildiana’ is most commonly grown variety.
NOTE – all parts of plants are toxic and may also cause skin irritation if handled.
Benefits of Growing Gloriosa Lily
Gloriosa Lily are a beautiful climber that is easy to grow. In their first year each tuber should easily grow 5 to 7 flowers building towards 25 flowers in a mature tuber. They flower late Summer to early Autumn with claw shaped yellow and red flowers.
Ideal for pots or used against a trellis or other structure suitable for climbing. Great for brightening up an unused wall.
These plants can easily be divided after a few years. Simply dig up and divide clumps during Winter when the plant is dormant.
How to Grow Gloriosa Lily
Cool to tropical.
Height: 1.8m, Width: 30cm
When To Plant Gloriosa Lily
Plant in Spring or early Summer, once the last frost has passed.
It is recommended that these are planted as soon as possible when received as a loose tuber. If you cannot, store in a cool, well ventilated area in the original packaging. This is only suitable for a few days as the plants may die if allowed to dry out or stay too wet.
Gloriosa prefer a rich well drained soil. Work through well broken down manure or compost in the soil before planting.
How To Plant Gloriosa Lily
Plant in full sun to part shade. Plant 30-50cm apart approximately 3 to 4 cm below the surface with the tuber planted horizontally in the ground.
Gloriosa Lily Plant Care
Gloriosa Lily like to have surface mulch of leaf litter or similar. This will keep the roots cool and keep moisture in. Make sure that you keep moist during growing season but allow pots to dry out in winter so as not to rot the tuber.
Responds well to regular feeding of diluted liquid fertiliser from when growth commences until flowering. An application of a slow release fertiliser during Spring will help your plants put on a wonderful show when flowering season approaches.
To prune, trimming off dead flowers stems once the blooms have faded. This can usually encourage a second flush of flowers. During Winter it will become dormant; this is the ideal time to cut back to about an inch above ground level. They can be left undisturbed in pots until it becomes crowded. Tubers can also be lifted during the Winter dormancy. It’s important that they are stored in a cool dark place and make sure that they do not dry out. Clumps can be divided by carefully separating tubers, being careful not to damage the growing tips.
Aphids can be a problem so check regularly as the weather warms up.
Gloriosa Lily has the potential to be an environmental weed in some conditions so keep in check by planting in a container, removing seed heads after flowering and not planting near sensitive areas.