Foot ball lily: Easy to grow plants with dazzling flowers

Foot ball lily: Easy to grow plants with dazzling flowers
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Nikhil B/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Image Cropped)

These attractive Foot ball lily plants are grown as a ornamental plant for its beautiful red fluffy flowers which beautifully contrast with the dark green shiny leaves. It is easy to grow and requires very little care. The plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors and adds a splash of color to the area. A bit toxic, should be kept away from pets and kids.

Quick Details of Foot ball lily

Other Common NamesFireball lily, Oxtongue lily, Blood flower, Ball lily, Blood lily, Katherine-wheel, Poison root,Powderpuff lily
TypeOutdoor/indoor flowering plant
LightBright direct sunlight or filtered light
WaterWater when the soil starts to dry.
TemperatureNormal to warm climatic conditions
SoilWell draining nutrient rich soil
FertilizerAny all purpose compost mix or fertilizer
HabitatTropical regions of Africa, India
Common DiseasesMealybugs, spider mites
Scientific nameScadoxus multiflorus

Foot ball lily Buying Instructions

  • Football lilies can be easily grown for the bulbs which you can purchase from nursery. If you are buying bulb, make sure that the bulb should not be infected. Gently press the bulb from all the sides and it should not be rotten.
  • You can purchase the young plant as well from the nursery.
  • Buy a healthy and small plant.

Overview of Foot ball lily

Foot ball lilies are evergreen or deciduous tropical bulbous plants that are native to Africa and Arabian peninsula. It is also found in India. The flowers are reddish or orange globes with cushion like flowers. The flowers have yellow anthers adding beauty to the plant. The leaves are few, succulent and dark green in color.

The evergreen varieties have leaf all round the year where as the deciduous ones shed the leaves during dormant period. The plants grow up to a height of 60- 100 cm long. The flowers can sometimes be white in color and are arranged in bunches and looks like a paint brush. the bunches have bracts surrounding each of them. The plants flower for almost 3-4 months a year. The plants are toxic and the toxin is used in fish poisoning and arrow poising. Some species are also used in traditional medicine.

Usage and Advantage of Foot ball lily

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.
  • Poison from some species is used in arrow poisoning.
  • Used in traditional medicine.

General Care for Foot ball lily

Appropriate Soil for Foot ball lily

They prefer a well draining potting mix. Plant them in soils that are rich in organic matter and is mixed with little sand.

Water need for Foot ball lily

They prefer the soil to be moist. Water the plants regularly during summer and growing period. Do not water them during the dormant season. Make sure not to over water the plants, over watering can make the soil soggy and can lead to root rot.

If you are growing football lily from bulb. Water full after once you put bulb in the soil and after that water in very less quantity of water. Over watering the bulb can rotten it and you will not get desired results.

Sunlight requirement for Foot ball lily

The plants prefer bright indirect sunlight or filtered direct sunlight. They are hardy and can survive summers. But in places with harsh summers, make sure to provide the plants with enough shade in the afternoon. The plants can survive even in complete shade but the leaves may become pale.

Temperature conditions for Foot ball lily

They prefer warm conditions to grow. The plants can survive harsh summers if watered regularly. They are not used to cold and hence should be protected during winters and should be shifted indoors or should be kept away from cold winds.

Special Care for Foot ball lily

The plants are hardy and do not require much care. Make sure to provide them with the correct amount of sunlight and water while in their growing period. They do not require repotting and pruning. Remove any infected or dead leaves.

Fertilization need for Foot ball lily

They rich nutrient rich soil. Add an all purpose fertilizer or a slow release fertilizer ones a month during the growing period. Vermicompost/ manure can also be used to maintain the nutrients in the soil.

Pests and other problems for Foot ball lily

They are not prone to much diseases or pathogens. The plants grow healthy if provided with optimum conditions. However, the plants can be attacked by mealy bugs and spider mites which can be seen attacking the leaves and the soil. Use any insecticide to get rid of them. The soil can be drenched with insecticide or pesticide to get rid of them. These insects can also be removed manually with hand or can be wiped off using alcohol or by misting the leaves with water.

Propagation of Foot ball lily

The propagation of football lilies are commonly done by division of the roots. When the plants start to outgrow the pot, remove the plant from the pot and divide the plants by dividing the roots from the main root ball. Plant each section in a well draining rich potting mix.

The football lilies can also be propagated with the help of the succulent leaves. The leaves can be cut and planted in soil or placed in water. Leave it in a warm humid condition. After few weeks, small plants starts to appear from the sides of the leaf were it was cut. Remove these seedlings and plant them separately.

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