Anyone grow oxblood lilies?

donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)September 1, 2009

I found and ordered some of these bulbs on ebay. NOW I have to figure out where to plant them. (Anybody else do that? please say yes!)

So, I am thinking of planting them among dwarf nandinas so that the blooms will rise up out of the foliage in the fall. What do you think? How prominent and how long lasting is their foliage? Are they so vigorous that they'll be a problem when it's time to divide? Anybody have any great combinations to share? Any firsthand experience will be appreciated.

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spazzycat_1

I can't answer many of your questions because I only put in one this Spring (purchased as a plant in a pot) to see how it does before I order more. I do know that good drainage is important. They like to be on the dry side when dormant, so if planting in clay soil, it must be well amended. My one plant has just started blooming (to give you an idea of bloom time). The height is not more than 10", a bit smaller than I was expecting, so make sure that larger companions don't swallow them. I did see a planting a couple of years ago that used oxblood lilies with a ground hugging white lantana. The oxblood lilies rose out from under the fringes of the lantana. It was pretty cool looking.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 9:44AM
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ladywindsurfer(Z7 SE)

Not sure how they would perform, if the foliage were shaded by nearby shrubs. Most of mine are grown in half-day sun (morning) or high shade, where they receive all day reflected light. There are a few planted where they receive several hours of afternoon sun and they also perform well.
They don't compete well with tree roots that form a near-surface mat of feeder roots. Several years ago, I planted 5 under the drip line of a Southern Magnolia and they have almost disappeared and no longer bloom. Have threatened to move what is left, but always seem to forget about them when the foliage appears and I can find them.
As spazzycat said, the bloom stems are not very tall, less than one foot and they may become lost among your dwarf Nandinas, if they are like my dwarf ones!
They do well in pots also, so you may want to plant some there and move them around, until you find just the right location.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 3:00PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Thanks, y'all. THis is just the kind of info I need.
Do the leaves come up with the blooms or after?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 10:22PM
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bubba62

Hi Donna - I don't think planting them beneath evergreen shrubs will work, since they produce blooms in late summer (mine are blooming now), followed by foliage, which persists all winter. The flower stems definitely would be lost beneath the nandinas, since they're less than a foot high. They're great under deciduous shrubs and trees, for that reason. What they want is as much sun as they can get during the winter months. I have them among Eupatorium coelestinum (weedy, but great for blue autumn flowers at the same time as the Rhodophialas) and in front of a clump of Anemone vitifolium, which is just finishing up its bloom now.

No problem to divide, but they follow the same growth pattern as Sternbergias and the winter-growing Lycoris (like radiata), so it's best done in early summer as the bulbs go dormant (and we've had that discussion before!). The biggest problem I ever have with them is remembering where they're planted during the late spring and summer so as not to butcher them while trying to plant something else!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 3:58AM
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Maryl zone 7a

I was curious about these too a couple of years ago, but was told that they might bloom at the same time as my spider lilies (Lycoris Radiata). From this post I see that that could well be true as my spider lilies are just about to bloom any day now. Are they the same color?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 2:24PM
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razorback33(z7)

maryl....
The Oxblood lily, a/k/a, Schoolhouse lily (Rhodophiala bifida) has a different type of flower than the Lycoris radiata. It is more like the Lycoris squamigera flower, but usually a deeper red hue. However, there are many variations in flower color, from white, orange, pink and red.
Typical Oxblood Lily

Some of my L. radiata, var. clumps have different shades of red flowers. Some are even light pink. I also grow the yellow (L. aurea) and white (l. albiflora) ones, plus L. squamigera, so the busy bees may have something to do with that!
Rb

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 9:51AM
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Maryl zone 7a

What a great picture! Thanks so much for posting it. The color looks very close to my Lycoris Radiata so I think I would plant them in separate locations where they each can shine in their own right........Does anyone know how well they perform in only slightly amended clay soil with full hot sun during the summer?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 2:40PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

From what I've seen and read on oxblood lilies, they were brought from South America (Argentina I think) by German settlers into central and north Texas. Here in the Dallas area, they seem to naturalize quite well even in heavy clay soil.

Last year I rustled some (with owner permission) from a lot that was being sold for commercial use - it was obviously an old homestead. The Oxblood lilies (as well as spider lilies and grape hyacinths) had naturalized across the lot, thriving with no care, no amendments, and no supplemental water in heavy clay soil. The only time I could dig was several days after a heavy rain.

HTH. Good luck, these are marvelous bulbs!

Lin

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 11:33PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I got them planted this week. I decided to edge a dry stream bed with them. They are already beginning to come up, though I don't expect blooms this year. Thanks to you all for your suggestions. I am so glad I didn't "hide" them among the nandinas. I will use lycoris radiata for that. :)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 1:45PM
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Maryl zone 7a

thanks Lin. I'm familiar with the soil in the DFW area. Heavy black clay that uncovered by grass made me think that the ground had been scorched by fire until someone explained it to me. If Oxblood lilies can take that soil they sure can take mine (our clay is of the whitish liver paste variety).

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 6:05PM
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