Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Pink Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Bloom Time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous Smooth-Textured
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
Seed Collecting: N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
Like so many others, I was unfamiliar with this plant but was pleasantly surprised when it came up "out of nowhere". We had only been in our new home for about a month when I saw the ground "break" in several areas of a flower bed. They grew so quickly, I felt as though if I sat long enough I could see them grow! Even my husband, who usually doesn't pay attention to this stuff is in amazement and pointed them out to any and all visitors! Beautiful flower, beautiful scent, beautiful experience! It is now early March in southeastern New Mexico and the leaves of this plant are about 14 to 16 inches tall. It will be interesting to watch the progress of this wonderful plant.
On Apr 26, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:
Surprise lily grows in the courtyard at the University of Minnesota Biological Sciences Greenhouse. I haven't been around in late summer to see it bloom, but it's probably this species. This spring, it began to come up during a warm spell in the middle of February, then got frozen twice before spring finally came. Several clumps are next to the tropics room, which is set below ground level and keeps the soil particularly warm.
On Apr 19, 2011, delbertyoung56m from Medina, NY wrote:
A friend from a Church in Monticello, Illinois gave me over 100 bulbs to plant in Medina, NY. I gave some to my siblings and the rest were planted all over in my Hosta bed, and I believe that everyone one of them survived the Winter - over 4 feet of snow on top on them at times. Some bloomed the first year, most did not. But this year - 2011 should be a banner year for them. The scent was fantastic on the ones that did bloom - nothing like it, better than lilacs.
When I moved to Wisconsin several years ago, I was saddened when I learned that "Naked Ladies" were not supposed to be hardy in zone 4a. Ha! I have always pushed the zones, and this is a plant I was going to work with until I could find the right micro climate in my garden. After years of growing them here in Eau Claire, I will have to say that I have had no problem with them anywhere I place them, so long as it is sunny. I will say that I used a bit of advice I had read in a garden magazine even before I moved to the "Frozen Tundra," if you want blooms, KEEP THEM DRY! Excellent drainage is the secret. When planting this far north and in this occasionally rain soaked environment, use twice as much perlite and sand as you think you might need. Also, it does not hurt to plant a bit deeper. Unless you use materials that provide good insulation to the sides (eg. old railroad ties), I do not think a raised bed will help because of the need to keep the bulbs warmer. Finally, when summer comes, do not water at all. After the leaves have died back, they will have received all the moisture they need for the year's blooms. As I write this in the early days of August (in one of our rainiest summers yet), I have the first of several clumps blooming like crazy, even though I had thought this might be the first year of no blooms due to the high moisture level. Like I said, more than excellent drainage will produce blooms for those that want this wonderful plant in zone 4.
On May 28, 2010, hoynicker from Pottstown, PA wrote:
My daughter found a pile of them about 4 yrs. ago. washed up against a tree in the woods on the other side of our creek, the Manatawny in Pottstown, PA. We dug them all out, 50 total, and I planted them all over my property not knowing anything about them accept seeing them on other properties in the area. I found they like good soil and drainage and water. And boy do they smell fabulous.
I was told at that time by a friends horticulture friend that they are worth about $8 to $10 a piece. However, not all mine were full grown bulbs.
On Apr 27, 2009, plantaholic186 from Winnetka, IL wrote:
Okay- the billionth note on this plant (quite the hot topic!). I have planted this bulb in two different gardens, both z6-ish. Both times, the bulbs took at least one year before *anything* happened. In my current garden, it took two years before I saw any leaves whatsoever. So, leave them be for a couple of years....
On Dec 20, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
As of currently, it hadn't bloom for me for four or five years - and to add a note, the other genus that also contain the name surprise lily or resurrection lily is not hardy at all in zone 4 so if you have any in zone 4, it will almost alway be Lycoris.
On Aug 18, 2008, Janetgia62 from Des Moines, IA wrote:
I received about 8 bulbs from a neighbor many years ago as we were getting ready to move, so I planted them at our new house in a corner of the perennial border on the patio. This is a very sunny spot that gets a lot of water and they have done beautifully, a great show every year (blooming now, mid-August) and lots of expansion. A couple years ago I moved some of them to a new location, also very sunny but not as much water, and they have done well there too. Now we are moving again to a place with mostly shade - I love these plants, and am anxious to find them a spot they will like at the new place!
On Sep 9, 2007, MusetteLewry from Chesterton, IN wrote:
My residence in the hamlet of Furnessville in the Indiana Dunes has hundreds of these Surprise lilies and thriving in several areas and from full sun to full shade. The shady areas do have the advantage of sunshine in the early spring before the tree foliage appears. The soil here is sandy as the house rests on the Glenwood dune, the ten-thousand-year-old former shore of Lake Michigan. I suspect that they have been here since the 40s. The house was built c: 1926 for the naturalist Edwin Way Teale and his wife Nellie Teale. I’ve enjoyed seeing their early sprouts signaling the end of winter since moving in here three years ago.
On Apr 6, 2007, amazar from Eau Claire, WI (Zone 4a) wrote:
We have lived in this house since June of 2000. Every spring these leaves have come up on the southwest side of the house and died back. Every spring I have wondered what these were from. Finally, in August 2006 up it comes! We were out of town at the time, so I missed the rapid growth and only saw the tail end of the flowers. This spring, there are several clusters of leaves - looks like the bulb split, so I came here to find out when to divide it. Looks like I may be in the extreme north end of its zone. Judging from other people's comments, it may have been planted a little too close to the house - in the dry area under the eaves.
I live in zone 4 in westcentral Wisconsin. We get REALLY cold winters, and I have had this plant for about 20 years. Some years we get lots of foliage in the spring and no flowers in August, but thankfully it keeps coming back. It's blooming nicely this year.
On Apr 8, 2006, JenniferSM from Woodland, CA wrote:
What a surprise when my husband and I moved into our 40-year-old "new" house and found these (at the time unknown to us) beautiful, slender and smooth "leaves" popping out of every corner of the yard, dying back later in spring, and "oh my"...... NAKED LADIES coming up in the same place just a few months later. It took us an entire year-and-a-half (spring, summer, and spring again) to figure out that they were the same plant!
Our local nursery told us that these plants needed dividing (after hearing from me that they didn't all bloom), and since doing so, they've done their "show, "dissapear" and then " Real SHOW" act for us...much to our delight.
We love them!
It's always nice to have a beautiful flower appear in a hot, dry period of summer. They come back faithfully year after year, and ask for nothing in return. The foliage can be kind of a pain earlier in the season though. My information says it is hardy in zones 4-11. Other names I have come across: British Soldiers, Hurricane Lily, Spider Lily. Blooms in August in my garden.
On Jan 8, 2005, CBernard from Perris, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
These plants have beautiful foilage and flowers. They grow on top of the soil in Perris. We brought two bulbs from San Fernando Valley fifteen years ago. Now we have at least one hundred bulbs all over our yard. However, some years they don't bloom. Chuck
On Aug 11, 2004, cvilleimp from Charlottesville, VA wrote:
This plant is an old timer in the Shenandoah Valley and central piedmont area of Virginia. You can find it around old abandoned houses and outlining where an old picket fence used to keep animals out of the yard. It is always a pleasure to see them come up in the spring. It delights children because of the "magic" of it's arrival.
On Aug 5, 2004, ShirleyToo from Sterling, CO wrote:
A friend had these growing in her back yard, they were going to plow them under... so I took all I could dig... hundreds of bulbs! I planted some and gave some to parents. Theirs didn't do well in the sandy soil at the ranch, but mine... now that is a different story. They didn't come up for three years. This year, I had 13 come up in the front, and none on the side. The 13 were so surprising, not there one day, and four inches tall the second day! They are about 2 1/2 feet tall now, six blooms on each stock, and beautiful!! Then I spied one on the south side, just peeking out of the soil... now two days later, almost 8 inches tall!! Water is the key. I think the more they get, the better they like it... definitly a keeper!
On Aug 2, 2004, OlIslander from Fairborn, OH wrote:
I first ran into "naked lady lilies" in CA on a trip in Aug 2002 and fell in love with the color and way they grew. I've since received about 6 bulbs through a friend of the light pink/white version and two came up this year with flowers, 6 per stem. I was surprised to see them so early (last two weeks in July) since I was told they would not come up until late August. I also discovered they were blooming in southeast Indiana (I live in southwest Ohio), so last weekend, I gathered up my camera and drove through Madison, Clarksville, Jeffersonville and along Indiana 64 to Milltown. Many towns had blooming plants while others were just opening. The display in Milltown at Main and Spencer Rd was noteable. In another week, they will all be gone and no one would know they were there.
I moved into a house that already had these planted. I didn't know what they were until late summer. What a pleasant surprise when I saw the pink flowers! They also grow vigorously in the woods behind my house...deep shade! I just divided the clumps up. Some bulbs are 2 inches in diameter. Great bulb to place where you plant annuals because they are invisible after the leaves die back in late Spring. Then the flowers are on a leafless tall stalk when it blooms.
Dug some clumps of bulbs from my mother-in-law's and stuck them in the ground at home. They've been doing well for 6 years, now. They get full sun. I've never fertilized or mulched them. They grow along an east-west fence, so get some shelter. I have divided them a couple times. One curiousity: each bulb only blooms every 2nd year. The year it blooms, it makes no foliage. The year it doesn't bloom it makes foliage. Descriptions I've read of this bulb seem to suggest that the same bulb produces both foliage and then, later, a flower stalk in the same year. Mine sure don't work that way.
On Jul 12, 2003, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
These bulbs should only be divided when absolutely necessary because they sulk and sometimes don't bloom the next year. Lift the bulbs when the foliage dies down in June, and replant immediately. If planted at about 7 or 8" deep, and 12" apart, they will not need divided again as soon as if they are planted shallowly. The blooms appear almost overnight (after a rainy spell) and there are no leaves on the plant at the time. Be careful if you have them in your lawn; some people have been known to mow down the emerging blooms. Later note: I divided a patch of these in June, and counted 8 flower stalks coming up in July! This has not been my previous experience. I think it is due to regular watering in the current location.
On May 28, 2003, beckykay from Godfrey, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
I think mine were planted about 6 in. deep here in zone 6 in Illinois. I planted them behind my smaller bushes and some inback of my foundation plants so when the leaves die back you can't see them. Slow to produce new bulbs.
On Feb 9, 2003, Greenknee from Chantilly, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have seen these bulbs bloom where thrown out on top of the soil - in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. In California's coastal climate, very vigorous, almost invasive in places.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Midland City, Alabama Wetumpka, Alabama Bullhead City, Arizona Caddo Valley, Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas Searcy, Arkansas , California August, California Ben Lomond, California Carmichael, California Davis, California El Portal, California Hercules, California Los Angeles, California Manhattan Beach, California Oroville East, California Perris, California San Diego, California San Jose, California Santa Paula, California Santa Rosa, California Whittier, California Woodland, California Clifton, Colorado Federal Heights, Colorado Sterling, Colorado Westport, Connecticut Pike Creek, Delaware Talleyville, Delaware Fountain, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Niceville, Florida Kula, Hawaii Antioch, Illinois Collinsville, Illinois Divernon, Illinois Lake Ka-ho, Illinois Mokena, Illinois Monticello, Illinois Normal, Illinois Northfield, Illinois Rosemont, Illinois Tuscola, Illinois Washington, Illinois Williamsville, Illinois Bloomington, Indiana Chesterton, Indiana Fort Wayne, Indiana Gosport, Indiana Grissom Afb, Indiana Macy, Indiana Spencer, Indiana Iowa City, Iowa Osceola, Iowa Saylorville, Iowa Abilene, Kansas Derby, Kansas Lane, Kansas Lindsborg, Kansas Overland Park, Kansas Rolla, Kansas Tonganoxie, Kansas Barbourville, Kentucky Cambridge, Kentucky Fox Chase, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Taylorsville, Kentucky Gardere, Louisiana Zachary, Louisiana Arnold, Maryland Halfway, Maryland Pikesville, Maryland Cochituate, Massachusetts Blanchard, Michigan Harbor Beach, Michigan Scottville, Michigan Three Rivers, Michigan Wyoming, Michigan Apple Valley, Minnesota Chisago City, Minnesota Falcon Heights, Minnesota Lewisville, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Preston, Minnesota Byhalia, Mississippi Marietta, Mississippi Archie, Missouri Brunswick, Missouri Columbia, Missouri Ellisville, Missouri Elsberry, Missouri Grandview, Missouri Kansas City, Missouri Maryland Heights, Missouri Piedmont, Missouri Saint Louis, Missouri Stoutland, Missouri Burchard, Nebraska Friend, Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska Omaha, Nebraska Springfield, Nebraska North Valley, New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico Elmira, New York Medina, New York Concord, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Amesville, Ohio Bay View, Ohio Bucyrus, Ohio Coal Grove, Ohio Defiance, Ohio Fort Jennings, Ohio Fruit Hill, Ohio Glouster, Ohio Holiday Valley, Ohio Madeira, Ohio New Miami, Ohio North Zanesville, Ohio Ardmore, Oklahoma Enid, Oklahoma Hoot Owl, Oklahoma Hugo, Oklahoma Hulbert, Oklahoma Indianola, Oklahoma Tulsa, Oklahoma Yukon, Oklahoma (2 reports) Allentown, Pennsylvania Butler, Pennsylvania Greencastle, Pennsylvania Halfway House, Pennsylvania Laflin, Pennsylvania Schlusser, Pennsylvania Conway, South Carolina , Tennessee Brighton, Tennessee Clarksville, Tennessee Hollow Rock, Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee Middleton, Tennessee Millington, Tennessee Moscow, Tennessee Colleyville, Texas Coppell, Texas Corpus Christi, Texas Cross Roads, Texas Fate, Texas Macallen, Texas Nevada, Texas Arlington, Virginia Big Stone Gap, Virginia Bristol, Virginia Jonesville, Virginia Lovettsville, Virginia Newport News, Virginia Reston, Virginia Winchester, Virginia Quilcene, Washington Great Cacapon, West Virginia Star City, West Virginia Vienna, West Virginia Altoona, Wisconsin Eau Claire, Wisconsin Elkhorn, Wisconsin Ellsworth, Wisconsin Elroy, Wisconsin Sheridan, Wyoming