How to Grow Doryanthes Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Gymea Lily

Doryanthes is a genus of large succulent plants that are half hardy perennials.

They may reach from 2 to 4 metres (6 to 13 feet) in height.

Doryanthes excelsa
Doryanthes excelsa - Gymea Lilly by Rexness.

Plants have large red and white flowers that bloom in the summer.

Doryanthes is commonly known as the Gymea lily.

Commonly Grown Doryanthes Species

Doryanthes excelsa

Doryanthes excelsa
Doryanthes excelsa (Gymea lily), photograph by Ernest McGray, Jr.; CC.

Doryanthes palmeri

Doryanthes palmeri
Doryanthes palmeri (Giant Spear Llily), picture by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

Doryanthes Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Gymea Lily
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial.
Height: 72 to 144 inches (200 to 400 cm); stalk up to 236 inches (600 cm).
Family: Doryanthaceae.
Native: Australasia.

Doryanthes Growing Region: Zones 10.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Red and white. Flower spike.
Foliage: Succulent. Sword-shaped. Rosette.

Sow Outside: Surface. Late summer and autumn using fresh seeds. Spacing: individual.
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three months. Seeds should be soaked for a few hours. Temperature: 70°F (21°C), in the light. Once Doryanthes seedlings have emerged add gravel to the top layer in order to promote good drainage and for support. Transplant outdoors following the last frost, temperatures should not drop 50°F (10°C).

Requirements and care: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Hummus. Regular, heavy watering whilst growing. Light water throughout winter to ensure that soil remains moist. Propagate: plant bulbils once flowering has completed. Alternatively transplant rooted suckers.
Miscellaneous: May take over ten years for Doryanthes to first bloom. This plant is very attractive to honey-eater birds. Previously classified in the Asparagaceae family.

How to grow Gymea Lily (Doryanthes)

If growing Gymea lily outdoors, then fresh seeds should be sown on the soil surface.

They prefer to grow in a sunny area of the garden that has good drainage. Ideally the soil should be rich in humus.

If you want to first grow seedlings inside, then Doryanthes seed should initially be soaked in luke warm water for about four hours.

Seedlinds should be germinated in the light, at about 20 degrees centigrade (68°F). The seeds should then be supported by the use of a gravel.

The seedlings should then be planted individually outside. They are very large plants so only grow more than one if you have a very large gardens. Space them at least four metres (13 feet) apart, to prevent them interfering with each other.

Caring forDoryanthes

The soil that Doryanthes grows in should be kept moist, as they are very large plants this will require regular watering.

If you want to crate more plants then Doryanthes can be propagated by planting root suckers once flowering has finished.

Common Questions

How many members does the Doryanthes genus have?

The Doryanthes genus consists just two species.

Do members of Doryanthes make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Doryanthes, such as Gymea Lily, can make a dramatic statement in the garden with their large flowers and tall stalks.

Which Doryanthes species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa) is the most commonly grown species.

Are members of the Doryanthes plant genus fragrant?

No, Doryanthes species are not known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Doryanthes?

Doryanthes plants prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil.

Is Doryanthes invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Doryanthes is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Doryanthes plants from my garden?

Due to their large size, removing Doryanthes may require professional help. It involves uprooting the entire plant and removing all roots.


The Doryanthes genus, known as Spear Lilies, consists of two species of perennial flowering plants native to Australia. These large plants are known for their huge rosettes of strap-like leaves and tall spikes of red flowers that can reach up to 4 meters in height.

Doryanthes thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, being extremely drought tolerant once established. The best way to propagate is from seeds. They should be planted in an area where their large size can be accommodated and are often used as focal points in landscapes due to their dramatic appearance.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Doryanthes plants. You may also be interested in the following plant growing guides: Convallaria, Yucca elephantipes, and How to grow Asparagus densiflorus plants in your garden.