Blogs Gardening Plant Culture Plant of the Week

Plant Culture: Haemanthus coccineus ‘Blood Lily’

G’day everyone,

Check out this giant Haemanthus coccineus ‘Blood lily,’ the foliage span measures to a whopping 1.05 meters! I have never seen one this big before. I was gifted this ‘Blood lily’ from a close friend – thank you Joy!Haemanthus coccineus - ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014Haemanthus coccineus is part of the AMARYLLIDACEAE family, which consists of herbaceous, bulbous and perennial flowering plants. H.coccineus is a bulbous plant that thrives in rich soil and in morning sun but protected from the harsh afternoon sun. Not much maintenance is required when looking after these plants. They do not require much water once they are established, but in their first summer after being planted in the ground make sure to water them when required. For example, if you have sandy soil, it is likely your soil will dry out faster so make sure to water more regularly in the hotter weather. H.coccineus grows to a height of 15-40 cm and a width of 50 cm -1 metre, but as shown in the photo below, and above, my specimen has already grown past the 1 meter mark (which I do not have any issue with). They can be grown in containers or pots, just make sure to use a good quality potting mix. I will be planting mine out under the Camellia and Rhododendron shrubs.

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

H.coccineus will multiply and create more plants overtime underground because of the bulbous root system. Propagating the Blood lily is fairly simple as it can be done by root/bulb division and can be grown by seed. If you are going to propagate them by division, wait until they go dormant in late Autumn and then divide. The foliage is a lush deep green and lanceolate in shape, which is a great contrast against many shade loving plants. They look great planted in front of Rhododendron shrubs or with a low growing Heuchera. However, the main beauty of this plant and what they are known for is the beautiful red/orange flowers they produce. Flower spikes will start to emerge in late spring to early summer and then bloom. Unfortunately my ‘Bloody lily’ isn’t in flower, but when the flower spikes emerge I will make sure to capture some photos.

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By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

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