Here is a recap of our plants of the week for the month of May. This month we are trying to expose you to some pretty flowers that you might not have knowledge of or tried growing.
Mexican Shellflower is actually a bulb that is also known as the Tiger Flower. As its name suggests it is native to Mexico and it is related to and resembles an Iris. While each flower lasts for about a day the stem is loaded with multiple buds. The flowers come in shades of orange, yellow and white and often contain purple spots on the inside of the bloom. They are hardy in garden zones 7 through 9 but can be treated like a Gladiolus in other zones and lifted, stored and planted the following spring. They are useful in flower borders and containers and require good drainage.
This bulb has been planted in gardens for nearly 200 years but it has gone through many name changes and is not utilized as frequently has it should be. It is easy to grow and comes in shades of blue and white. It grows 6 to 12 inches height and is hardy in garden zones 5 through 9. While it tolerates sunny conditions its preference is for partial shade. Its foliage appears early in the spring and is then followed by its star-shaped blooms from March through May. They are a good bulb to plant around Daffodils, Tulips, and Hyacinths and once established will be a mainstay in your flower border for years to come.
Rain Lily is also known as Zephyr Lily or Fairy Lily and is a relative of the Amaryllis. It is hardy in garden ones 7 through 11 and once established will provide abundant blossoms in shades of pink, yellow and white throughout the summer. Its foliage resembles grass and the flowers resemble a Crocus. They grow less than a foot tall which make them a good plant for the edge of a flower border or in a container. They will require afternoon shade in particularly hot locations and the soil needs to drain well but shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. Once planted Rain Lily’s should not be disturbed or its blooming cycle can be impacted.
Aztec Lily (Sprekelia formosissima) is not really a Lily at all but actually is a relative of the Amaryllis. It is native to Mexico and its foliage resembles that of a Daffodil or Muscari. This bulb is grown for its striking red flowers which stand about 12 inches tall. Aztec Lily is hardy in garden zones 8 through 10 and thrives in the heat of summer. It is a good container plant and deer resistant as well. This bulb should be planted in a sunny location that has rich soil which drains well.