Planting Guide for Rain Lilies

Planting Guide for Rain Lilies

 The rain lilies or the Zephyranthes is a tropical wildflower. They are known for their tendency to bloom especially after a hard rainfall, thus the name. they are charmers. They can perfectly fill your bare garden spaces and can naturalize the same. They can weave through the established plants too. They are crocus-like flowers and can arrive in different bright shades and don’t require too much care. With minimal care, you can enjoy the stunning flowers generally from late summer to early fall. The tufts of the outward-spreading green leaves surround the flowers and leaves with an irresistible lush display. The leaves are narrow and have a glass-like structure.

Rain lily flowers grow in hardiness zones 8 to 10. They can bloom from the summer to the fall. The planting depth is generally 1-2 inches. They need moderate water quantity. Give them full sun to partial sun to ensure they grow to their best. The planting proximity must be around 6 inches apart. Remember that the plant rain lilies need soil that can drain well and would need a good amount of sunlight. So plant them in such and such places. After the hard rain, the water should puddle around for more than 5 to 6 hours. You might need to find a different location then.

You can partner your Zephyranthes lily with other low-water plants like the Amaryllis, Crocosmia, Watsonia, Kniphofia, and Scadoxus. You need to avoid planting the bulbs in containers where there are early-season bloomers and they require more moisture mainly during the flowering periods. The rain lilies can perform best with little water from winter through mid-summer. Plant the bulbs immediately because the Rain lilies do resent being out of the ground for a long period. You can then expect the foliage to come out within a few weeks. You can also plant rain lily indoors. That would help keep them dry for the winter and then set them outdoors in the Spring season. 

Rain lilies or the Zephyranthes are from the temperate and tropical plant list in the Amaryllis family. The plant is from the subfamily Amaryllidoideae, they are native to the western hemisphere and are popular for their ornamental uses. The family is big and has about 70 and more recognized species along with numerous hybrids and cultivars. Apart from rain lily, Zephyranthes are also known as fairy lily, magic lily, zephyr lily, and Atamasco lily. Many parts of the beautiful plant are surprisingly called to be toxic. The genus does have some medicinal properties as well. The toxic compounds present in the plants are called alkaloids.

 Yellow Rain Lily

Tends to flare open

The beautiful lemon yellow shade of this flower blooms in the late summer. The botanical name of this plant is Zephyranthes citrina. The fresh colour of this flower can brighten up a garden and bring back its charm. They face upwards and always flare open. Plant them in the grass and you’ll notice how they would enhance the charm of your place with their yellow-ness. They propagate by bulbs.

White Rain Lily

Corcus like white flowers

The white rain lily is also known as the fairy lily. They can grow up to 20 cm tall. The corcus-like white flowers are the most popular variety among the rain lilies. They are about 4 cm across and have a beautiful green throat. The prominent yellow stamens make them look magnificent. They are native to South America, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay. The leaf-like bract can be as big as 1.8 cm to 4 cm. they are very popular in South Africa and India.

Red Rain Lily

At first, look like leaves

The profound gleaming touch of the red lilies is more than beautiful. They firstly look like another one of the leaves, but when the papery piles grow with their red charm, anyone would get attracted towards it. They bloom after fall and can have a height of about 20 cm. give them full sun to partial sunlight and provide them with enough moisture so that the soil doesn’t dry out. You can use any organic fertilizer.

Autumn zephyr lily

Blooms pink, red, white and yellow coloured flowers

These hardy bulbs can range from 5 cm to 30 cm in height. The grass-like foliage blooms from spring to autumn. The pink, red, and white and sometimes yellow colour of the flowers are some of the most beautiful flowers. Always propagate them by their bulbs, plant them at a depth of about 8 cm, with a spacing of about 10 cm to 15 cm. Sow the rain lily seeds in spring or autumn.

Orange Rain Lily

Sensitive to frost

The orange beauty comes with a classic canna cultivator. The tall stalks have green lush foliage. They grow better in full sun and well-drained soil. Remember that they are sensitive to frost, you can simply bring them indoors during the winter. Propagate them by the lovely rain lily bulbs.

Habranthus robustus

Larger than other rain lilies

Commonly known as the pink rain lily, or the Brazilian copper fly, the habranthus robustus is naturalized in Florida, Columbia, and South America. They are comparably larger than the other rain lily flowers. They can be about 3.5 to 5 cm in diameter. The funnel-shaped flowers are held at a slight angle on the 15 to 30 cm long scapes. They appear after rain from late summer to early fall. The pink charm along with the deep green leaves looks stunning together.

Hybrid Rain lily

Look like a new leaf

Along with the beautiful range of colours, they come in, there are some hybrid rain lilies as well. Although the new hybrids are rare, they look equally beautiful as the other lilies. The small hybrid leaves are deep and glossy green in colour. They are about 3 mm wide. The flowers generally look like a new leaf, but they would emerge slowly from the papery sheaths.

Apricot rain lily

Small bulbs

The bulbs of the apricot rain lilies are generally quite small. They would bloom in the rainy season and after fall. They are quite easy to grow like the other rain lilies. They need moist, organically rich soil to grow. Provide them full sun or partial shade sunlight. Apply enough water to keep the soil moist, don’t let the soil dry up.

Rain lily care


Choose an area which would provide the rain lily full sun. an afternoon shade or dappled shade is also welcomed. If the climate is too hot, protect them from the afternoon sun.


The rain lilies have a reputation for surviving drought. The flowers are observed once a summer soaking would trigger the bloom. It is better to irrigate the flowers thoroughly to encourage flowering. don’t overwater though.


The rain lilies can handle average soil to rich garden soil. Just ensure there is a proper drainage system. Although they also have a reputation of thriving in both boggy and sandy soil.


They prefer warm and humid environments much more. If you are from a colder zone, you need to plant them in containers so that they can perform reliably as border fillers and in cooler climates, you can bring them indoors.


They don’t need fertilizers. Although you can fertilize them if you want. If you are planting them in some heavy clay, you can put a layer of compost over the ground and watch them emerging in the spring.

Potting and repotting

Rain lilies can grow just fine in pots. Just ensure that the tops of the bulbs are covered with about an inch of soil. They are generally planted 2 to 4 inches apart when planted in the ground, but you can place them closer if grown in containers, they also prefer being crowded.

Rain lily colours

The rain lily comes in different colours including yellow, white, pink, red, orange. There are some hybrid and apricot varieties available in the market too.

Growing rain lilies in pots

Rain lilies grow well in pots and other containers. You need to place the bulb outdoors in the spring. Ensure that the danger of frost is past and there is full sin. The soil is rich with organic matter at that time. Place the top of the bulb about an inch under the soil. Ensure that the pot has proper drainage holes. In cold climates, you can also bring the plant indoors and take them out again in summer.


How to prune rain lily?

Although the foliage is evergreen, you can still practice pruning. You can mow it with a meadow without harming the plants too.

How do you take care of a rain lily plant? What makes rain lilies bloom?

Give them full sun to partial sunlight. Plant them in the summer and protect them from the frost. Ensure that the soil stays moist.

Do rain lily bulbs multiply?

Yes, the rain lily bulbs multiply rapidly.

Are rain lilies poisonous?

Some parts of the rain lily flowers are poisonous. Although they are often used in medicines.

How do you grow zephyr lilies?

Then need a place where there is full sun. the soil needs to be organically rich and well-drained. Keep them moist.

Does rain lily have a smell?

Yes. Some species of rain lilies leave a sweet and pleasant smell.

What is the rain lily hardiness zone?

They are generally cultivated in USDA hardiness zones between 7 to 10.

What is the average Zephyr lily's height?

The zephyr lilies can be as long as 6 to 12 inches.

What are the colours of rain lilies?

Rain lilies come in white, pink, red, yellow, orange, and in other hybrid varieties.

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