Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 35
can be grown throughout the state
but are sometimes rather challenging.
Follow the growing instructions for
dahlias. Planting depth: 3 to 6 inches.
Spider lily (Lycoris radiata)
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This old-fashioned garden plant
is also known as hurricane lily because it blooms in the late-summer
hurricane season. Spider lilies have
striking, 3-inch red blossoms with
dangling appendages like the legs of
an upturned spider. Yet another moniker-magic lily-refers to the fact
that the blossoms appear to emerge
straight from the bare earth, without
leaves. In reality, the leaves appear in
fall, last through the winter, and then
go dormant by early summer. This
carefree plant needs full sun, and its
leaves and bulbs are poisonous.
Planting depth: 3 to 5 inches.
Crinum lily (Crinum spp.)
Sometimes called milk-and-wine
lily, these bulbs are as indestructible
as they are spectacular. Crinums have
classic, lily-shaped flowers with a
powerful perfume that grow atop a
2- to 3-foot mound of tropical-looking foliage. Plant them in any sunny
location and let nature do the rest.
Many colorful hybrids are available.
Planting depth: 6 inches.
Canna lily (Canna spp.)
Cannas are available in a kaleidoscopic array of colors, which extends
to the foliage as well as the flowers.
Most varieties grow 4 to 6 feet tall,
though dwarf types can be found.
Plant cannas in a sunny location in
rich soil and water them frequently
during dry spells. Planting depth: 3 to
Caladium (Caladium spp.)
These bulbs are grown for their
foliage, rather than blooms. Technically they're not "summer-blooming,"
but the enormous, heart-shaped
leaves can be as colorful as any flower. Caladiums typically don't look like
much until hot weather hits, and they
fade quickly again in the fall. Shop
around to explore the dozens of exotic-looking varieties. Caladiums like
shade, rich soil and plenty of moisture. These are tropical plants and
must be planted anew each year-or
you can lift the bulbs from the soil in
fall and store over winter. Planting
depth: 1 inch.
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
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Masses of small yellow, pink or
white flowers (depending on the variety) adorn these easy-to-grow, pintsized plants. They are excellent for
massing along a path border or in a
rock garden in sunny or partly sunny
locations. Rain lilies naturalize and
spread once established and are surprisingly drought-tolerant, given their
name. Rain lilies bloom in spring,
too, but they bloom periodically
throughout the summer, especially
following a rain. Rain lily leaves and
bulbs are mildly toxic. Planting depth:
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Rain lily (Zephyranthes spp.)
Allium (Allium spp.)
These are the ornamental relatives of onions and garlic. Alliums
have pom-pom-shaped flower clusters that rise high above a clump of
inconspicuous leaves. Purple is the
most common color, though other
shades are available. Alliums require
little more than full sun and occasional watering to thrive. Planting depth:
4 to 6 inches.
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa)
Tuberoses are tropical bulbs that
are easily grown as annuals in Georgia. It's surprising they aren't grown
more, given their carefree nature and
the intoxicating perfume of their elegant white blossoms. Tuberoses require full sun, well-drained soil and
modest watering to thrive. Planting
depth: 3 inches.
Brian Barth is a freelance writer
living in Ontario, Canada.
For the featured plant of the
month, see page 42B of the
April 2017 digital edition, online
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