How to Propagate Spider Lilies


Spider lilies are native to Florida and are hardy in USDA planting zones 10 and 11. The foliage consists of 3-foot-long dark green leaves that are stunning all on their own; however, the flowers make the plant even more interesting. The fragrant, white, thin petals appear on 6-inch tubes in the summer and fall. Once the flowers start to fade, seed capsules appear and the plant will re-seed itself and create a complete ground cover in two to three years. Propagate spider lilies by dividing the mature bulbs.

Step 1

Using a garden spade, dig the bulbs out of the ground when the center of the plant stops flowering or when you notice the flowers getting smaller. It is best to divide right after the flowers have faded in the fall. Dig 2 inches farther than where you believe the bulbs to be to ensure you do not damage any of the roots.

Step 2

Wash off the bulbs with a gentle spray from your garden hose and carefully pull the bulbs apart with your hand. If the roots are entangled and won't come apart, cut through them with a sharp knife.

Step 3

Prepare the area for the new bulbs by cultivating the soil with one part compost to three parts original soil. The depth the bulbs should be 2 1/2 times the diameter of the bulb. If the bulbs are very small, plant at a 5-inch depth and cover with soil.

Step 4

Water the newly planted bulbs thoroughly and place a 4-inch layer of mulch over the planting site. Begin watering in late winter or early spring to sprout new foliage. Flowers may not appear until the third growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Sharp knife
  • Compost
  • Garden hose
  • Mulch


  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Hymenocallis Latifolia
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: Spider Lilies (Lycoris radiata), Oxblood Lilies (Rhodophiala bifida) and Rain Lilies (Zephranthes spp)
Keywords: propagating spider lilies, dividing spring bulbs, growing lily plants

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.