Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, Resurrection Lily, Naked Lady
Lycoris squamigera

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Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycoris (LY-kor-iss) (Info)
Species: squamigera (skwam-EE-ger-uh) (Info)

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

101 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Bulbs

Height:
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:
3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

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

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There are a total of 30 photos.
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Profile:

27 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral coriaceous On Jan 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

These do not like disturbance. If overcrowded, they're best divided in June when the foliage dies down. Commercially available bulbs sold in the fall may take more than one season to recover, and may not even send up foliage for a year or two. Patience will be rewarded.

Buy your plants fresh in June if you can, and plant them as soon as possible.

Positive keith20mm On Aug 3, 2013, keith20mm from Jasper, AR wrote:

I planted these March 2013 and pretty much forgot about them.

August 1 I found them popped up, and opening... very pretty. They definitely surprised me.

As a member of a small choral group which practices Friday, I mentioned to my group that I noticed three naked ladies in my yard that morning as I was leaving for practice.

The director paused then asked me "... and you came here?..."

There's one other house on my road. As I was passing by it, I noticed that there were many of these just like the ones in my yard, new.

This is USDA Zone 6a, and neither bed is full sun... in fact, quite shady for both beds.

My bed has 5-year old bark mulch in the uppermost layer, and just local dirt below.

Positive kristinroca On Jul 30, 2013, kristinroca from West Sacramento, CA wrote:

The funny thing was that I bought bulbs from a store and the package must have been mislabeled. I planted what I thought were "other" bulbs. Nothing happened so I thought They must have rotted and were ruined. The next year I got these green leaves that shot up -but I thought they were from the plant next to it which was Lily of the Nile. Then all the leaves turned brown and withered away-I thought my landscaper used round up thinking they were weeds! I actually fired him because it was the second time in 2 years that happened but it did not sprout last year! Once I cleared all the dead leaves away the 2nd time -about a month later I saw all the sprouts come up. They grew quickly! They smell great! I hope the multiply! From the time I planted bulbs to actual flowers was about 2-1/2 years! So they WERE a surprise!

Positive vossner On Jul 22, 2013, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Surprise lily was most definitely a surprise for me. It took 8 years to bloom! I didn't give up on them b/c from the very first season, I would get healthy foliage but no blooms. I made it a point to get bulbs from different sources in case bulb quality or maturity was an issue. I don't think so. Just didn't feel at home in my gardens until now. Go figure.

Positive LMH1 On Mar 10, 2013, LMH1 from Roswell, NM wrote:

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.

Positive Erutuon 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.

Positive delbertyoung56m 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.

Positive boru On Aug 8, 2010, boru from Altoona, WI wrote:

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.

Positive NonnieLight On Jul 25, 2010, NonnieLight from Arkadelphia, AR wrote:

This plant truly lives up to its name of "Surprise Lily"! Late in the summer it appears and year time I see it I am totally surprised. She's a beauty.

Positive hoynicker 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.

Positive hotsunshine On Oct 13, 2009, hotsunshine from Kula, HI wrote:

What.can.be.done.w/the.red.colored.seeds.that.are.produced.after.the.
flowering.stage?
Can.they.be.placed.in.the.ground.to.one.day.become.bulbs.to.produce.
flowers.?
I.love.these.pink.bouquets.and.would.like.to.increase.the.numbers.of.them.

Aloha
Angelo

Positive plantaholic186 On Apr 27, 2009, plantaholic186 from Winnetka, IL wrote:

Patience!!

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....

Positive Malus2006 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.

Positive Janetgia62 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!

Positive MusetteLewry 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. Ive enjoyed seeing their early sprouts signaling the end of winter since moving in here three years ago.

Neutral amazar 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.

Positive daniann On Aug 13, 2006, daniann from Elroy, WI wrote:

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.

Positive JenniferSM 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!

Positive ktdid On Feb 3, 2006, ktdid from Bullhead City, AZ wrote:

I grow them in large pots and keep them out of the direct sunlight. One stem in August had 8 flowers

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

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.

Positive CBernard 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

Neutral marjisgarden On Aug 20, 2004, marjisgarden from Lindsborg, KS wrote:

The durn things grow when & where they want. But I wouldn't be without them. They grow all over here in and arround Lindsborg, Ks. Just south of Salina, central part of the state.

Positive cvilleimp 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.

Positive ShirleyToo 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!

Positive OlIslander 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.

Positive jhyshark On Jun 28, 2004, jhyshark from Scottville, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have to remember to fertilize in the spring when the foliage is showing in order to get them to bloom in my poor sandy soil, but it's worth it.

Positive MMMeyer On Mar 20, 2004, MMMeyer wrote:

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.

Positive Tristram On Sep 7, 2003, Tristram from Normal, IL wrote:

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.

Positive Toxicodendron 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.

Positive beckykay 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.

Neutral Greenknee 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.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,
Gadsden, Alabama
Midland City, Alabama
Wetumpka, Alabama
Bullhead City, Arizona
Caddo Valley, Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Jasper, 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
West Sacramento, 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
Cleveland, Georgia
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
Greensburg, 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
Camargo, Kentucky
Cambridge, Kentucky
Fox Chase, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Gardere, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Arnold, Maryland
Halfway, Maryland
Pikesville, Maryland
Cochituate, Massachusetts
Roslindale, 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
Barberton, Ohio
Bay View, Ohio
Bucyrus, Ohio
Coal Grove, Ohio
Columbus, 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
Pecan Grove, 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



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