Gloriosa (Flame) Lilies

February 26, 2015

Gloriosa Lilies also known as flame lilies and glory lilies thrive in fertile, well as drained soils and in full to partial sun. Gloriosa Lilies consist of 5-6 tender climbing vines which are native to South Africa. These tender bulbs are also a vine that climbs by means of tendrils at the tips of their leaves and are quite poisonous when ingested. These specialty flower bulb is quite a mystery to many but they have been grown and distributed to gardens across America with astonishing success. This climbing bulb will grasp at anything for climbing up so it is ideal that you provide support to vines giving its tendrils something to cling to as well as for showing off its beautiful foliage.




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Gloriosa lily bulbs are hardy in zones eight and nine. In cooler climates the bulbs will need to be dug up in fall after full senescence and stored in moist peat moss over the winter. Gloriosa lily bulbs require at least 6-8 weeks rest period, so it is important they do not dry out during storage. Gloriosa lily bulbs cannot handle a freeze, either in storage or down to bulb depth during their growing cycle. In the northern hemisphere store through the winter and plant again in the spring with warmer temperatures. These exotic-looking lilies produce an abundance of yellow and red flowers with petals that curl backward to resemble a flash of brilliant flames. Those big, crimson-red flowers are nothing short of glorious. Their unusual and exotic flowers have been featured on US postage stamps, and are the national flower of at least one African country. They make an outstanding cut flower in arrangements, and the configuration of their stamens and pistil has been compared to a clock and a minute hand.


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Gloriosa Lilies can be grown indoors, plant them in pots 2-4 inches deep in a mixture of two parts rich potting soil, one part builders sand and one part peat moss. Place in indirect light and keep soil evenly moist. After blooming, withhold water and fertilizer, allowing the plant to go dormant. In the garden, plant gloriosa lilies in well-drained, organic soil in a location that receives full sun or light to medium shade. Gloriosas prefer warm temperature and to extend blooming period start the tubers inside in late winter and then transplant them to the garden in spring.

Gloriosa Lilies can reach up to 8 feet in height and would require support with a trellis or other suitable object is recommended. They can be left in pots of dry soil after blooming and should be replanted in fresh soils in spring. For those with pets please be mindful that the Gloriosa Lily is poisonous when ingested.

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