How To Grow Spider Lily Plant (Bulb Propagation)

Spider lilies are non-demanding plants. They prefer well-drained moist soil, full sun, and not much feeding. Make sure to use bulbs for planting them as not all varieties grow well via seeds.

How To Grow Spider Lily Plant

Spider lilies, with their graceful blooms and vibrant colors, are popular flowering plants that add a touch of elegance to gardens and landscapes.


Planting spider lilies in pots is a great option. For doing so, it is important to select a spot with well-draining soil and at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.


While placing the spider lily bulbs in the ground or pots during the fall, ensure the pointed end faces upward and plant them about 2-3 inches deep.


Besides knowing how to plant spider lilies, knowing how to water them, feed them, and prune them is equally important for them to flower.


Watering the spider lilies regularly will help the plant to maintain slightly wet soil. The application of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring is essential for providing the required nutrients for its healthy growth.


Removing spent blooms by cutting the flower stalks near the base will help to grow them faster. Monitoring for pests or diseases, and taking necessary action if required is also a must.


By following this planting guide, you can enjoy the beauty of spider lilies and create a stunning display of their captivating flowers in your garden or on your patio.


Pick The Correct Location Before Worrying How To Grow Spider Lilies


Before worrying about the specific details of spider lily plantation, it’s important to choose the correct location that provides suitable soil, and sun exposure, and decide whether to grow them in the ground or pots.


All kinds of Spider lilies prefer well-draining soil. They can tolerate a range of soil types, but sandy or loamy soil with good drainage is ideal. Spider lilies thrive in full sun to partial shade.


They require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to produce optimal blooms. However, they can tolerate some shade, especially during the hottest part of the day.


Spider lilies can be grown both in the ground and in pots. Planting spider lilies directly in the ground is ideal if you have a suitable garden area with well-draining soil. They can spread and naturalize over time, creating a beautiful display.


Whereas if you have limited garden space or if you prefer more control over their growing conditions, it is better to grow them in a pot.

  • Choose a pot that is at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep to accommodate the bulb’s growth.
  • Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Use a well-draining potting mix and place the pot in a location with the right amount of sunlight.


Ultimately, choose the aptest location for growing spider lilies as per your gardening situation and available space.


How To Plant Spider Lily Bulbs?

For planting spider lilies in your garden, follow these steps:


Timing: Spider lilies are typically planted in the fall, as they require a period of cool temperature to establish their roots before flowering. Aim to plant them about 4 to 6 weeks before the first frost date in your area.


Selecting a location: Spider lilies thrive in well-draining soil and prefer full sun to partial shade. Choose a planting site that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Ensure the soil is fertile and has good drainage to prevent waterlogging.


Preparing the soil


Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris. Amend the soil with organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage. Loosen the soil to a depth of about 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm).


Planting depth: Dig a hole that is about 6 inches (15 cm) deep. Place the spider lily bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing upwards. Position the bulb so that it is about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) deep in the soil. Space the bulbs about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) apart to allow room for growth.


Backfilling and firming the soil: Once the bulb is in place, backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the bulb. Avoid pressing too firmly, as spider lilies prefer loose soil.


Watering: After planting, water the area thoroughly to settle the soil and provide moisture to the newly planted bulbs. Keep the soil slightly moist but not waterlogged during the establishment period.





Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, around the planted area. Mulching helps retain moisture, suppresses weed growth, and regulates soil temperature.


Dormancy: Spider lilies naturally go through a dormant period during late summer and early fall when their leaves die back. During this time, reduce watering and allow the bulbs to rest. New growth will emerge when the growing conditions become favorable.


By following these steps and providing the appropriate care, you can successfully plant spider lilies in your garden and enjoy their beautiful blooms when the flowering season arrives.


Related: How to Grow Blueberry Bushes | How to Plant Pansies | How to Plant Marigold Seeds


Spider Lilies Aftercare

After correctly learning how to plant spider lilies, proper aftercare is important to ensure their continued growth and health. Here are some key aftercare tips:




Spider lilies are not heavy feeders, but they can benefit from a balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in early spring when new growth starts.

Look for a general-purpose granular fertilizer with an NPK ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) of around 10-10-10 or similar. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for application rates.


Avoid over-fertilization, as it can lead to excessive foliage growth and fewer flowers.


Deadheading: After the spider lily flowers fade, you can remove the spent blooms by cutting the flower stalk near the base. Deadheading encourages the plant to put more energy into bulb development rather than seed production.


Pest and disease control: Spider lilies are generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, occasionally, they may be affected by aphids, snails, or slugs. Monitor the plants regularly and take appropriate measures, such as handpicking or using organic pest control methods, if necessary.


Growing Spider Lilies In Pots


Growing spider lilies in pots offers several advantages, particularly for those with limited garden space or a desire for enhanced control over their growing conditions. Here’s how to grow spider lily plants in pots:


Selecting the right pot: Choose a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom to ensure proper drainage. Spider lilies have long, strappy leaves and tall flower stalks, so choose a pot that is at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep to accommodate their growth.


Soil preparation: Prepare a well-draining soil mix for the pot. A good mix can include equal parts of garden soil, peat moss, and perlite or sand to improve drainage. You can also use a high-quality potting mix specifically designed for flowering bulbs.


Planting the bulbs



Plant spider lily bulbs in the pot with the pointed end facing upward. Place them about 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 cm) deep into the soil, and space them apart to allow room for growth. You can plant multiple bulbs in one pot, but avoid overcrowding to ensure each bulb has enough space.


Light and temperature: Spider lilies prefer full sun to partial shade. Place the pot in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Keep the pot in a spot with a temperature range of 60 to 75°F (15 to 24°C) for optimal growth.


Watering: Water the pot thoroughly after planting the bulbs to settle the soil. Maintain regular watering to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil to dry between waterings to prevent overwatering.


Fertilization: Spider lilies don’t require heavy fertilization as discussed but can benefit from a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Apply a granular fertilizer according to the package instructions in spring, as new growth emerges.


Avoid over-fertilization, as it can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers.


Maintenance: Remove any dead or yellowing foliage as needed. Spider lilies go through a natural dormant period during late summer and early fall when the leaves die back. Reduce watering during this period and allow the bulbs to rest.


Winter protection: If you live in a region with cold winters, protect the potted spider lilies from frost by moving them indoors or to a sheltered area. Spider lilies are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 7-11, but they may require additional protection in colder zones.


Blooming and division: Spider lilies typically bloom in late summer or early fall. Enjoy the beautiful flowers as they emerge. Over time, the bulbs may multiply and become crowded in the pot.


After a few years, consider dividing the bulbs in early spring to maintain their vitality and promote better growth.


By following these care tips, you can successfully grow spider lilies in pots and enjoy their stunning blooms in a confined space.


Is There A Way How To Grow Spider Lilies From Seed?

Spider lilies (Lycoris species) primarily reproduce through bulbs rather than seeds. Varieties like Red Spider Lily do not even produce any seeds.


However, it is worth noting that some species of spider lilies, such as Lycoris radiata, produce seed capsules containing viable seeds.


These seeds can be collected and sown to grow new plants, but they often require specific conditions and a longer germination period compared to bulb division. So, while it is possible to grow a few spider lily varieties from seeds, it is more common and easier to propagate them through bulb division.