The Magnificent Red Spider Lily And All There Is To Know

Last Updated on August 22, 2022 by Griselda M.

The red spider lily or the Lycoris radiate blooms in the late summer and early fall. As a carefree plant that grows easily, it is capable of growing in most parts of the country.

Also known as the hurricane lily, it is a herbaceous perennial plant that has a wide variety of uses. It can be used as a groundcover or on borders.

The red spider lily has a beautiful, distinct look. In this article, we will give you all the information you need to know about this plant.

History Of The Red Spider Lily

The red spider lily is native to Southeast Asia. In 1854, Captain William Roberts of the U.S. Navy acquired three red spider lily bulbs from Japan.  Though described to be “in such a dry condition that they did not show signs of life until the War between the States” they were eventually planted in America.

Despite their conditions, the three bulbs survived and grew in their new home in North Carolina. They began spreading across the Southern United States before becoming popular nationwide.

It is considered to be one of the most beautiful plants in the world. It is also one of the easiest plants to grow. The coral-red flowers have exceptionally long stamens which give the plant a unique look.

Characteristics Of The Red Spider Lily

The red spider lily has vibrant, coral-red flowers that have a slight golden sheen in the sunlight. The petals are delicate and curl inward and the stamens of the flower are long, wiry, and prominent.

The red spider lily has a nice aroma that is not too overwhelming. This plant bloom depends on your location, blooming from late summer to early fall.  The flowers are large, red, and bloom for about two weeks.

Propagation

This plant is easy to propagate as it can be grown from bulbs. When planting bulbs, you need to make sure that you plant them in an area where there is enough light.

The bulbs should be planted at a depth of about four to six inches and should be in a place where they will get full or partial sunlight. Water them well and keep them moist until they sprout.

Growing

The red spider lily grows from a bulb that can be planted in fall or early spring.  The bulbs of this plant are very easy to grow and need little care. They can grow in USDA zones 6-10. 

Red spider lilies are very hardy and can handle most conditions. They should be planted in soil that is well draining and rich in organic matter.

The soil should have moderate moisture so it will not dry out. During the growing season, they will need around one inch of water a week.

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Maintenance

The red spider lily has very little maintenance. You just need to water the plant about one inch of water a week and that is it. It does not need much fertilizer.

It is best to feed high-nitrogen fertilizer in the spring, as this will provide the plant with the nutrients it needs for growth. A fertilizer that is high in potassium and phosphorus can be beneficial after bloom to help with root growth and hardiness.

Soil

The red spider lily likes well-draining soil that has good drainage. The soil should be rich in organic matter. Ideally, the soil should be slightly alkaline.

Temperature

The red spider lily does not like cold temperatures. If you are growing them in zones six or seven, it is best to add mulch to protect the leaves and exposed bulbs from cold winter weather.

Humidity

The red spider lily does best in relative humidity around 40-50%.

What does a red spider lily symbolize

Harvesting

When you want to harvest the red spider lily, wait until it has finished flowering. Then cut the stalk at the base of the plant. After you harvest it, place your flower in a vase of water.

In Conclusion

The red spider lily is one of the most attractive plants one can grow in America. These flowers are stunning and make your lawn or garden look so beautiful. Why not try growing them today?

Read more about Growing The Pink Spider Lily From Seed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a red spider lily symbolize?

The red spider lily symbolizes final goodbyes and the story goes that they grow wherever people part ways for good. The red spider lily is also said to guide the dead through the cycle of rebirth in Buddhism.

Can I touch a red spider lily?

It is not recommended that you touch a red spider lily due to its fragility. If you choose to cut them for a bouquet, be very careful. 

Do Red spider lilies come back every year?

Yes, red spider lilies will bloom annually in most cases. They are hardy perennials that prefer well-draining soils. They grow best in full or partial sun, and they are drought tolerant.

Do Red spider lilies grow wild?

Yes, they can be found growing naturally in the southeastern United States.

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