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Polianthes tuberosa, MEXICAN SINGLE TUBEROSE, 1530        
The heavenly fragrance of tuberoses is as big a pleasure in August as ice cream. Their simple white flowers are clustered on 3-4 foot stalks above short, daylily-like foliage. Most gardeners grow them in pots (always best in the North) or dig and store in fall (we’ll send easy directions), but they’re perennial in zones 8a-11b. Although many sources offer bulbs too small to bloom, our big, fat, healthy bulbs – from an Illinois family farm where they’ve been grown since the 1930s – are sure to reward you gloriously. Chart & care.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Short and charming, rain lilies are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. To bloom well, they need hot summers. Though they prefer full sun and moist loam, they are very easy to grow in a wide range of conditions, even damp clay. In their native Argentina the white ones actually grow in marshland! In colder areas, they can make interesting plants for summer pots. Learn more.

Zephyranthes candida, WHITE RAIN LILY, 1822        
“Absurdly easy and prolific,” writes Scott Ogden in Garden Bulbs for the South of this cheery little flower. Over grassy foliage, its short, white, crocus-like flowers open after late-summer rains. Discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1500s, it grew so thickly along Argentina’s Rio de la Plata that it inspired its name: River of Silver. Praised by Bostonian E.S. Rand in his 1866 Bulbs, it’s easy in pots in the North and perennial in zones 7a-11b. 5-7”, from Holland. Chart & care.
Zephyranthes grandiflora, PINK RAIN LILY, 1825        
“Luscious as a bowl of raspberry sherbet” wrote Elizabeth Lawrence of this, “the best known of all zephyr lilies.” With grass-like foliage and rosy pink flowers on 6-10 inch stems, mostly in early summer, it was brought to the US from Central America in 1825. If you’re north of zone 8, try some in a pot, once a common sight on porches. In winter, simply set the pot dry in the basement. For inspiration, read one Wisconsin family’s story of their 100-year love affair with pink fairy lilies in zone-4! Zones 8a-10b, from Holland. Chart & care.
Zephyranthes citrina, YELLOW RAIN LILY, 1880        
The golden, crocus-like blooms of this tough little pixie can open throughout the summer, especially in well-watered gardens, but its glory days come in early fall. It takes poor, droughty, and even boggy soils, and when happy – even in a pot – it self-sows eagerly. Native to the Yucatan, it’s recommended in American garden books by the 1930s at least. Grassy foliage, aka Z. sulphurea, 6-8”, zones 7a-10b, from Holland. Last offered in spring 2015. Widely available elsewhere.

DIVERSE ARCHIVES — For customer tips and raves, the stories behind the bulbs, links and books, history, news, and more, see our Newsletter Archives.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS — Most of the bulbs in this section are easy to grow, but their needs, of course, are diverse. To help you choose wisely for your garden, here’s our best advice for their planting and care.

CRINUM, MILK-AND-WINE LILY — “No crinum has ever died,” says Texas A&M’s Bill Welch of these big, tough, adaptable bulbs. Although they prefer plenty of sun, well-drained soil, and regular moisture, they’ll grow and bloom almost anywhere in zones 7-10 — and their bulbs can get as big as footballs. Learn more.

CROCOSMIA, MONTBRETIACAUTION! In warm climates, Crocosmia multiply vigorously and can easily become INVASIVE. Do NOT grow near water. Do NOT compost corms, plants, or the soil they’ve grown in. Plant in well-drained soil, in full sun in the North or full sun to part-shade in the South, and about 8-10” apart. Learn more.

RAIN LILIES — To bloom well, rain lilies need hot summers. Though they prefer full sun and moist loam, they are very easy to grow in a wide range of conditions, even damp clay. In their native Argentina the white ones actually grow in marshland! In colder areas, they make interesting plants for summer pots. Learn more.

TUBEROSES — Tuberoses need full sun, moist soil and plenty of nutrition to do their best. In the North, we recommend growing them in pots, starting them inside and then moving them outside when nights warm up into the 60s. In the SOUTH, you can bloom them successfully in the ground, where singles often do better and bloom earlier. Plant in a hot, sunny spot with well-drained soil. Keep soil moist and fertilize regularly. Learn more.

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