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How to Grow Rain Lilies

By Katelyn Lynn ; Updated September 21, 2017

Rain lilies are also known by several other names such as pink rain lily, rosepink zephyr lily and pink storm lily. Although they are believed to be originally from Central America or Mexico, rain lilies were once so widely planted throughout the United States they are still seen growing near abandoned farms and homesteads all over the country. Regarded as easy to grow, the ideal time to plant rain lily bulbs is in fall through early winter, October through late November.

Planting Rain Lilies

Locate a suitable planting site for the rain lily bulbs. Ideally choose a spot that receives full sun or is partially shaded. If you're growing rain lilies in a pot, situate the pot in light shade to full sun.

Loosen the soil in the growing area using a shovel or garden fork. If you plan to grow rain lilies in a container, mix together two-thirds potting mix with one-third fine sand.

Spread out a 4- to 5-inch layer of compost or aged steer manure over the topsoil in the growing area. Mix the amendment about 12 to 14 inches into the soil. For container growing, fill the container about one-half full with the growing medium.

Dig holes for the rain lily bulbs about 3 inches apart. For large bulbs, the holes should be about 5 inches deep, and for smaller bulbs, about 3 inches deep.

For container growing, make sure the rain lily bulbs will be buried about 2 inches below the rim of the pot.

Plant one rain lily bulb into each of the planting holes. For container growing, plant one bulb per pot if you're using 6-inch wide or 1-gallon pots. In larger tubs or barrels, you can plant one bulb every 2 to 3 inches.

Cover the rain lily bulbs with about 1 to 2 inches of soil. Gently pat the soil over the bulbs to make sure the tops of the bulbs will not be exposed.

Water the area thoroughly ensuring that the water seeps deep enough into the soil to provide the moisture to the bulbs. If container growing, make sure the growing medium is well moistened. Refrain from watering the rain lilies over the winter.

Caring for Rain Lilies

Spread out a 2- or 3-inch layer of leaves, bark, straw or grass as mulch for the rain lilies. Do this before the first frost occurs in your growing region. In spring you can remove the mulch as soon as shoots are about 3 inches tall.

Fertilizer rain lilies starting in spring once they are actively growing. Use a balanced, all purpose fertilizer and keep it 2 to 3 inches away from the leaves and stems.

Provide rain lilies plenty of moisture during spring and summer. Water ground grown rain lilies about once a week during the growing season. Rain lilies grown in containers require more frequent watering; about two to three times a week depending on the size of the container.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Rain lily bulbs
  • Shovel
  • Amendment
  • Planting pot
  • Potting mix
  • Sand
  • Fertilizer

Tip

  • Rain lilies are hardy in the USDA Zones 8 through 11. If you live in Zones 7 and below, plant rain lilies in containers that you can overwinter indoors.

About the Author

 

Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University and has extensive experience in botany and horticulture.