Rain lily - how much to trim?

irma_stpete_9bJune 15, 2014

Cut it all the way down or just enough to harvest the seed pod?

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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

I just harvest the top of the seed pods but I don't think it really matters, the stalks will wilt away. For me it is just easier to cut short pod stalks to make sure the seed pods are dropping into whatever I'm collecting them in.

Tom

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 5:57PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I have always done the same as Tom - just cut off the pod at the top. If the stalk is firm, you can often bend the stalk and snap the pod off.

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:32PM
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irma_stpete_9b

Got it! So, it's the leaves, not the stem, that are good to keep for photosynthesis, and applies to even small-leafed plants: "If the homeowner mows off the foliage early, the plant can no longer manufacture nutrient reserves for next year. This results in a small, weak bulb which will gradually decline and die out." (I hadn't even noticed it had leaves, so taken I was with the pink lilies.)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:01AM
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irma_stpete_9b

Maybe I'm still not clear on the stem - keep vs. cut. I've read that rain lilies may bloom 3 or 4 times a season. Do you think they do? Or is it that they are in a clump of bulbs and each bulb only blooms once? If the same bulb re-blooms, maybe keeping or cutting the stem matters.

I let my Gloriosa Lilies's stems and leaves continue growing after the 1 bloom it is said to have per (year) has bloomed. Seems to work there, as each year new stems appear from apparently proliferated bulbs.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:01PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Got it! So, it's the leaves, not the stem, that are good to keep for photosynthesis....

Apparently so, at least for these, just shot this picture tonight, bulbs courtesy of Kara a few years back. I'll shoot a follow up just before the seed pods are ready to open, and a week after taking the pods.

Tom

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:20PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Maybe I'm still not clear on the stem - keep vs. cut. I've read that rain lilies may bloom 3 or 4 times a season. Do you think they do? Or is it that they are in a clump of bulbs and each bulb only blooms once? If the same bulb re-blooms, maybe keeping or cutting the stem matters.

Gee, I really don't know. I can tell you they do rebloom all summer long after heavy rains. My guess is that they are putting out new stalks but I'll have to be paying close attention to see if that is the case.

Tom

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:32PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Not sure if it is the same for all rain lily varieties, but I recently got a primulina bulb, and as I only have one, I'm certain that it re-blooms multiple times per season. So far that one bulb has put up 3 blooms! I am happily sowing the seed to make a little patch of them. I just snap the seed pod off the stem, leaving most of the stem to fade away naturally.

Tom, that rain lily is awesome! It looks kind of like one I got in a trade that I don't have a positive id for. Do you know what kind yours is? Here's mine:

Mine doesn't seem to set seed though, despite me trying to hand pollinate with a paintbrush. Would love to be able to propagate mine, any tips on how to get reluctant ones to set seed? The issue with mine seems to be that there is very little pollen. When I run a brush across it, very few pollen granules come off.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 10:14AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Tom, that rain lily is awesome! It looks kind of like one I got in a trade that I don't have a positive id for. Do you know what kind yours is?....

As far as I know it is a NOID, came from Kara up near Inverness.

...Would love to be able to propagate mine, any tips on how to get reluctant ones to set seed?....

I have no idea, these bulbs seeded the first year and the seeds I started in containers 2-3 years ago from them flowered this year and are also throwing off seed pods. If you would like some of these I can give you divisions from the bulbs in the ground, I currently have about six clumps like the ones in the picture above and have given away a dozen 25-bulb clumps so far. I also have three clumps in ceramic pots grown from the seeds as stated above, and have given away probably 500 seeds.

Tom

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 5:30PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

That's so generous Tom. Thank you - I would love some seeds or bulbs! I will send you an email.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 5:51PM
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