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Crinum - Growing Guide
Growing Crinum lily
Crinum x powellii is actually a hybrid bred in gardens between two other South African species of this amaryllis-like plant. It is probably this hybrid vigour which makes these huge perennial bulbs fully hardy and easy to grow in UK gardens.
C. x powellii flower in July through to September. They have arching light green leaves which grow each year to up to 4 or 5ft and die down in winter. In milder areas the foliage dieback may well not be complete. The flower spikes are of a similar height with up to 10 widely flared and fragrant light pink flowers. Not all the flowers open at the same time from each flower head and not all the flower spikes appear quite at the same time. In consequence flowering goes on over several weeks.
The pure white form of C. x powellii is particularly fine as well but perhaps best grown in partial shade to avoid sun scorch on its delicate white flowers.
C. x powellii grows best in full sun in a warm and dry situation perhaps beside a wall. In colder areas of the country crinum can be perhaps more safely grown in the greenhouse. The large long necked bulbs need to be planted to a depth whereby half the ‘neck’ of the bulb stands proud to the ground.
A clump of crinum bulbs will eventually rise proud above the ground as they mature and get short of space. They can be lifted and divided to separate off smaller bulbs in early spring.
The biggest problem with these attractive and unusual late summer flowering bulbs, which brighten up the end of the flowering season in any border, is slugs and snails which hugely enjoy the chubby green leaves. You will need to take preventative action in spring and after heavy rain to control the problem. However, if you plant these plants away from walls or shade in a hot position, you will greatly reduce the problem.