Resurrection Plant Care Tips

Resurrection plants (Lycoris squamigera) are bulb flowers that belong to the Amaryllis family. They are desirable for their tall, slender stems; large, trumpet-shaped, pale pink flowers; and unusual growth habits. The plant produces clumps of several long leaves in late winter, which then die back to the ground in the spring. In August, the 2-to-3-foot leafless stems grow quickly, with flowers up to 4 inches in length, according to Gerald Klingaman, a retired horticulturist at the University of Arkansas.


Resurrection plants are native to Japan, and as such prefer a temperate climate with cool winters and mild summers. They grow best in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 5 through 10. If you live outside of these climate zones, try growing these plants in a pot. Like their cousin, the amaryllis, they grow very well in containers.


Lycoris squamigera flowers best when exposed to full sunlight, according to Mr. Klingaman. Place your bulbs in a location where they will be exposed to at least six, and preferably up to 12, hours of sunlight per day. In warmer climates, place the lilies in a location with afternoon shade.

Soil and Water

Resurrection plants are very easy to care for and will tolerate a wide range of soils, from heavy clay to sandy soil. They grow in both acidic or alkaline environments. Water your lilies in late winter and early spring when the foliage appears. Water when the top layer of soil becomes dry, but do not worry about the moisture level, as these plants easily tolerate drought conditions. Once the foliage dies back in the summer, cease watering and let the plant go dormant. The lilies will remain dormant until the flowers emerge.


Resurrection plants are not bothered by insect pests, according to Mr. Klingaman, and do not require fertilization to thrive. These hardy, beautiful flowers also spread rapidly. They are easily divided and should be dug up for division in September, after the flowers fade.

Keywords: resurrection plant care, growing Lycoris squamigera, surprise lilies

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.