Rain lily: Easy to grow perennials with pretty colorful flowers

Rain lily: Easy to grow perennials with pretty colorful  flowers
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Image by Vrushabh Revankar from Pixabay

The rain lily plants are one of the common flowering plants seen in the gardens. These plants are easy to grow and add a splash of color and elegance to the garden. They require very little care and can be maintained easily. The plants can tolerate almost all the weather conditions making it suitable to grow as an ornamental plant.

Quick Details of Rain lily

Other Common NamesRainflower, Magic lily, Atamasco lily, Zephyr lily, Rain lily, Fairy lily, 
TypeFlowering outdoor plant
LightBright direct sunlight.
WaterRegular watering during blooming.
TemperatureWarm humid conditions.
SoilAny well draining soil
FertilizerDoes not require any fertilizer
HabitatSouth America
Common DiseasesLeaf spot
Scientific nameZephyranthes spp.

Rain lily Buying Instructions

  • Buy a healthy plant which does not have any kind of pest infection.
  • Plant should not have too much dry leaves.
  • Plant should be bushy.
  • Rain lily comes in multiple colors, so ask your shopkeeper the flower color and to make sure of color prefer a plant which have flowers or buds in it.

Overview of Rain lily

These are perennial plants belonging to the family Amaryllidaceae and native to South America. These plants can grow up to a height of 15 inches. They are bulbous plants. The Grass like long leaves arise from the bulbs which surrounds the stalk bearing the flowers. The stalk and the leaves are upright. The leaves look similar to that of grass, are thin, green on color and long with sharp to oblong edges. The stalk bears a single flower at the tip.

Rain Lily
Rain lily with white flower

The flowers can be pink, white, yellow or orange in color. They bloom mostly during summer. The flowers look like 6 petaled and arranged in a single whorl however, it has three upright petals and 3 sepals of the same color are present. The bulb and the leaves are toxic.

Usage and Advantage of Rain lily

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.
  • Used in traditional medicine.

General Care for Rain lily


They can grow in any kind of soil. They thrive best in well draining fertile garden soil.


Water the plants regularly. These plants can tolerate drought conditions but flowering is initiated when there is enough moisture.


The plants prefer bright direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day. They can also grow in partial shade. In places with hot afternoons, keep them in places where they receive shade in the afternoon.


They thrive best in warm humid conditions. They can tolerate harsh cold and heat if given proper care.

Special Care

Mulch the soil to prevent loss of water and to protect them from harsh climatic conditions. Keep the plant in rain during the rainy season. Do not over fertilize and water the plant once soil is dry. Trim the leaves, leave only 2-3 inch of leaves from the roots and chop of the remaining leaves at least once in a year before rainy season.


They do not require any fertilizer and can grow without fertilizer for years.

Pests and other problems for Rain lily

These plants are not prone to many pests or pathogens in optimum conditions and sunlight. Some of the common diseases seen in lilies include:

Tulip breaking virus

The infected plants can show yellow streaks in the leaves and the flowering reduces. The infected flowers may be distorted or fail to open. This is a viral disease and there is no proper cure or it is better to discard the infected part of the plant or in severe cases discard the plant to prevent its spread.

Basal rot

Caused mostly due to overfertilization or lack of proper soil drainage. The base of the bulb gets infected with fungus and dark brown rot is seen in the bulb. This can lead to the death of the roots. The leaves turn yellow, the growth is stunted and in severe cases, the plants die.

Lily disease

These are fungal infections caused due to Botrytis elliptica. The leaves develop oval, brown spots which spreads and results in the leaves to wilt and fall. Use a fungicide to get rid of these pathogens. Make sure to de contaminate the soil.

Propagation of Rain lily

The propagation of rain lilies takes place through bulbs. Bury the bulbs almost an inch deep and 3-4 inches apart from each other. They can be planted during winters or early spring. The bulbs sprout within 3-4 weeks when grown in optimum conditions.

reema shaju

reema shaju

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