En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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


Prairie lily
Cooperia pedunculata

Copper lily
Habranthus tubispathus

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Ground cover to control hillside erosion in Illinois
May 04, 2014 - I have seen some other questions regarding native plants for erosion control, but I am looking specifically for plants that will do well on a hill in partial to full shade. I am told the soil in our a...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
March 26, 2009 - Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy t...
view the full question and answer

Need information about grasses for cattle grazing in Weatherford, TX.
September 16, 2012 - Need info on what I can plant for cattle to graze thru winter. grasshoppers and drought have decimated our coastal hay for past 2 yrs.Is there anything we can treat all the weeds with besides chemic...
view the full question and answer

Erosion prevention on shady Pennsylvania stream
July 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a few species to plant along a stream channel to help reduce erosion during heavy rains. The soil is moist and in full shade. Ferns and thorny bushes are the only current vegetation...
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