Crinum flowers attract bees, birds and butterflies to the garden.
image by Mightymatt13: Flickr.com
Crinum is a genus of bulbous perennials consisting of about 180 different species. They are native to tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South America. They form large flowers that bloom in summer and can be red, pink, white or mauve in color. Crinum flowers are fragrant and can attract honeybees, hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden. Crinum usually grows to about 4 feet in height and can live for many years if provided with proper care.
Plant crinum bulbs in a location that receives bright morning sun and partial shade during the hottest hours of the afternoon. Sprinkle balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer over the planting site to add fertility several days prior to planting.
Dig a small hole slightly larger than the bulb and add 1 to 2 tbsp. of bone meal to the hole to increase the soil's nutrients. Place the bulb into the hole with the pointed side up, and then gently cover with soil. Water thoroughly to bring the moist soil into contact with the bulb.
Water crinum once a week for the first month of growth. Reduce watering to once every 10 days during the first summer. Apply water once every two weeks after the first year, ensuring that the soil is soaked but holds no standing water.
Feed crinum using a slow-release fertilizer once per year in the spring. Water thoroughly both before and after applying the fertilizer to prevent root burn and to incorporate the nutrients into the soil. Follow the manufacturer's directions for recommended dosage.
Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch around crinum plants as soon as they emerge from the soil in spring. Leave a 3-inch gap between the beginning of the mulch and the stem of the plant. Refresh the mulch when it has deteriorated significantly or when the soil underneath is visible.