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Heirloom Bulbs: Texas Tough Perennials!

Crinum Ellen Bosanquet

Crinum 'Ellen Bosanquet'

When you’re building a garden it’s always good to think about how you can not only maximize your “gardening real estate”, but also chose plants that are water-wise and Texas tough. An under-used category of plants for this purpose is bulbs.

There is actually a stunning selection of bulbs that will perennialize and naturalize in our Texas landscape. These bulbs can be planted underneath seasonal color or in-between existing perennials in your garden.

A few of our favorite heirloom bulbs include: Crinum lilies, rain lilies, oxblood lilies and spider lilies.   

Crinum lilies are a Southern favorite, not only for their impressive fragrant blooms, but also for their ability to thrive in the most unfavorable of growing conditions. Crinum bulbispermum is the most prolific and abundant species in the South. Foliage is strap-like and blooms range from white to pink with dark pink accents. These are large bulbs and they prefer being planted deep in a full sun or partial shade location. ‘Bradley’ ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ ‘Summer Nocturne’ and ‘Milk & Wine Lily’ in stock now!

Milk and Wine from web-site

Crinum 'Milk & Wine'

Rain lilies are tough little bulbs adapted to many different types of soils. There are a number of species available and each will have a slightly variable bloom-time from early summer through fall. Zephyranthes grandiflora produces large pink blooms while the giant prairie lily. All are drought tolerant & fragrant. Excellent when inter-planted in groundcovers.

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Pink Rain Lilies in full bloom

Oxblood Lily, Rhodophiala bifida, is a very tough species with deep-red trumpet shaped flowers that appear in early fall with the first rains. The narrow strap-like foliage emerges in late fall. Oxblood lilies thrive in heat, humidity, and poor soils.  Plants multiply by clumping and prefer a bit of afternoon shade.

Red Spider Lily, Lycoris radiata, sends up both foliage and spidery red blooms in autumn. The long stamen give the flowers a spider-like appearance. Foliage is dormant in summer. There are also pink and rarer yellow and white strains of this species. Spider lilies and surprise lilies can be planted in full sun or afternoon shade.

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Red Spider Lily

Be sure to pick up NHG Bulb Food to apply at planting time and after each blooming season!

NHG Fertilizer Bulb_bucket food

Don't miss a special opportunity to see Chris Wiesinger "The Bulb Hunter" from Southern Bulb Company speak and sign his book at NHG on Saturday, 3/15/14 from 1pm-2pm.

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Chris Weisinger, Founder, Southern Bulb Co.

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