How to Grow Lycoris Plants

Guide to Growing Cluster Amaryllis, Hurricane Lily and Spider Lily

Lycoris are grown as hardy bulbs in the garden

Plants reach from 30 to 90 cm (1 to 3 feet) in height.

They carry small flowers of red, pink, yellow or white that are reminiscent of tiny lilies.

Some of the common names for Lycoris include Hardy Amaryllis, Spider Lily and magic Lily.

Lycoris radiata

Red Spider Lily

Lycoris radiata, Red Spider Lily flower photographs by TANAKA Juuyoh.

Lycoris Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Cluster Amaryllis, Hurricane Lily, Magic Lily, Spider Lily, Stone Garlic, Red Spider Lily, Surprise Lily.
Life Cycle: Hardy bulb.
Height: 12 to 36 inches (30 to 90 cm).
Native: Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 7 to 10.
Flowers: Late summer through to autumn.
Flower Details: White, red, pink, orange, yellow. Lily-like. Umbel; four to eight flowers.
Foliage: Slender. Long.

Grow Outside: Usually grown from bulbs or vegetatively propagated plants as seed grown plants can take up to 12 years to bloom.
Bulbs: 3 to 8 inches (8 to 20 cm) depending upon species. End of summer.
Seeds: Cover. Late summer or autumn; use fresh seed. Seeds should first be sown into flats. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist and to check if seedlings have emerged. Transplant the seedlings to their final location at the start of autumn.
Sow Inside: No.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Acidic to neutral soil. Rich soil, moist soil. Regular watering to maintain soil moisture. Requires a feed every two years; do this during the growing season. Propagate: by planting bulblets once blooming has finished.
Miscellaneous: In Japanese legends’ if someone meets someone that they will never see again then Lycoris will flower along the path that they take.

How to Grow Hardy Amaryllis, Spider Lily - Lycoris

Hardy Amaryllis and other Lycoris members can be grown from bulbs or seeds. The bulbs should be burried at a depth of 10 cm (4 inches; small Lycoris species) or 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches; larger varieties) at the start of august.

Seeds should be sown fresh into flats, at the end of summer or beginning of autumn in a shady location; once sown lightly cover Lycoris seeds with soil then cover the flats with glass. Lycoris can grow in either partially shaded or sunny parts of the garden that has good drainage.

They like to grow in a soil that is rich, moist and as a slightly acidic to neutral pH. It is best to allow the seedlings to grow for a year until they have formed bulbs, then transplant them about 10 cm apart (4 inches; small) to 40 cm apart (16 inches; large Lycoris species).

Caring for Amaryllis and other Lycoris Plants in the Garden

If you require more Lycoris plants in your garden then it is best to propagate from the bulblets that they produce.

Common Questions

How many members does the Lycoris genus have?

The Lycoris genus comprises approximately 20 species. They are known for their beautiful, spider-like flowers.

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

Yes, Lycoris plants, often called surprise lilies, can make a lovely addition to a garden, providing a burst of color in late summer.

Which Lycoris species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species include Lycoris radiata (Red Spider Lily) and Lycoris squamigera (Surprise Lily).

Are members of the Lycoris plant genus fragrant?

Some Lycoris species, like Lycoris squamigera, do have a pleasant fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Lycoris?

Lycoris prefers a sunny or partially shaded location with well-drained soil. It's great for adding late-summer interest to borders and beds.

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

Presently, Lycoris is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Lycoris plants from my garden?

To remove Lycoris, carefully dig up the bulbs when the plants are dormant. Be sure to get all bulb offsets to prevent regrowth.


The Lycoris genus, part of the Amaryllidaceae family, includes perennial plants native to East Asia. Often used in borders and woodland gardens, these plants are known for their spider-like flowers that typically bloom in late summer or early fall.

Lycoris thrives in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It requires moderate watering, especially during dry periods. Bulbs should be planted in late summer or early fall for optimal growth.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Lycoris plants. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Bulbinella, Nemesia plant, and Hacquetia plants.