Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Planting Questions

Bird-friendly plants for the Texas coast
July 13, 2012 - I'm interested in starting a native plant garden, specifically with an eye towards providing food (either from the plants or insects that are attracted to the plants) for migratory birds. However, s...
view the full question and answer

Will Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri thrive in caliche soil?
December 02, 2014 - I live on a high hill in the Hamilton Pool area outside of Austin. I am looking to plant a Dasylirion wheeleri that I grew from seed collected in New Mexico aria East Of Soccoro. I am wondering if the...
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for flowerbed in Mesquite TX
June 17, 2011 - I live in Mesquite and am new to the area. I am trying to make the flowerbed in the front of my house look better. I've planted some yellow roses and red roses but would like some perennial that bloo...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestion for a tree with a tap root in Oklahoma City, OK.
October 27, 2012 - I would like to know the best tree to plant in my area that does well. Would like a tap root tree and also a tree that will not mess with my septic lines. Thank you
view the full question and answer

Damage to yucca in San Marcos TX
October 18, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, thank you for helping me with my buffalo grass is San Marcos TX back in the spring, my lawn is gorgeous thanks to you! I really need your help as someone sabotaged my beauti...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.