En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Propagation of rain, oxblood, and copper lily bulbs

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - November 30, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Propagation, Transplants, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Propagation of rain, oxblood, and copper lily bulbs
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I have Rain Lily, Oxblood Lily, and Copper Lily bulbs out of the ground, that are putting out some green growth. I would like to plant them soon. Is it okay to plant now and in December, or do I have to wait till spring? Thank you.

ANSWER:

If your Cooperia pedunculata (Hill country rain lily) and Habranthus tubispathus (Copper lily) bulbs are sprouting you should go ahead and plant them now.  Choose a sunny spot and plant the bulbs 8 inches deep for best bloom or 4 inches deep to encourage bulb division.  Oxblood lilies (native to South America) can also be planted now.  Moisten the soil thoroughly so that the roots can "catch up" to the sprouting shoots, but then let the soil dry out until spring.  Cold weather coupled with continuous moisture can cause bulb rot.

If our occasional rains bring on rain lily and copper lily blooms, collect the black seeds just as the seed capsule begins to open.  Plant them just below the soil surface right away because the seed do not remain viable for long.  In this way you can soon have a remarkable showing after rains.

 

From the Image Gallery


Hill country rain lily
Cooperia pedunculata

Copper lily
Habranthus tubispathus

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native grasses as low-water option for ranch yard
March 19, 2007 - We have a weekend ranch in LLano Texas and are looking for a grass to plant in the front yard. (approx 3/4 acre) The house is very small and cute but not a real big fancy house. We do have a fence aro...
view the full question and answer

Replenishing a fallow field in Central Geogia.
February 22, 2010 - I have recently taken a 54 acre field out of cultivation and would like to replenish the soil with native cover plants. There is a slope to a portion of the field that is experiencing some erosion. I...
view the full question and answer

Protecting plants from birds near bird feeder
April 24, 2009 - I am happy to have several cardinal pairs living in my yard, but I need to discourage them from eating & destroying my purple heart planted under the huge cedar that holds my bird feeders. The cardina...
view the full question and answer

Shade Tolerant Grasses and Groundcovers for Waco TX
March 15, 2013 - What is the best shade-tolerant grass? What is the best shade-tolerant ground cover?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Texas sage from Bastrop, TX
March 01, 2013 - Am I wasting my time trying to transplant texas sage runners? Any advice?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center