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Naked ladies

By: Garden Gate staff
This is a plant with a lot of common names. You might also hear it called “magic lily” or “resurrection lily.” But whatever you call it, it’s a late-summer star.

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Naked ladies Lycoris squamigera

This is a plant with a lot of common names. You might also hear it called “magic lily” or “resurrection lily.” But whatever you call it, it’s a late-summer star. In spring, strappy leaves emerge. They stick around for about a month, then wither. And then…nothing happens for a couple of months. Finally, up comes a cluster of bare stalks (that explains those common names), practically overnight. Each stalk has three to eight fragrant flowers that last for a couple of weeks before they fade.

Pick the right spot for your naked ladies because these plants take a couple of years to get established and they don’t like to be moved. An area with full to part sun and rich, well-drained soil is perfect. They don’t need much water after the foliage dies down. A little all-purpose fertilizer around the foliage is fine, but it’s not crucial. When you plant the bulbs, usually in early to midsummer when they’re dormant, tuck them in 5 to 6 in. deep and 6 in. apart. (In USDA zones 8 and 9, where winters are warmer, you can plant them just 2 or 3 in. deep.)

TYPE Bulb BLOOM Pink flowers on bare stalks in late summer LIGHT Full to part sun SOIL Rich, well-drained PESTS None serious SIZE 18 to 24 in. tall, 6 to 18 in. wide HARDINESS Cold: USDA zones 5 to 9, Heat: AHS zones 9 to 1

Published: Aug. 3, 2010
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