Growing Crinum Lily (Spider Lily)

The crinum lily is also known as the spider lily for its intricate flowers that include large, brightly colored stamens that resemble spider legs.

The flowers are bright and have a heavy scent. It is a lovely ornamental flower that makes a big impact in a flower bed.

It can be grown in zones 7 to 11. The plants come in yellow, gold, pink and white as well as a few varieties of mixed-color flowers.

They will bloom in spring and summer as well as the earlier weeks in fall.

Light and Temperature Requirements

The crinum lily loves full sun, but it will also grow well in filtered light as well as partial shade. It is a hardy plant that can handle extremely low temperatures. Though it prefers hot temperatures, it can last through freezing temps as well as those below zero. It can take on some damage in extreme cold, so protecting it from cold winds and snow can help it to stay healthier.


When your crinum lily is getting established, it should be given plenty of water and not allowed to dry out. Once it has become established, watering it once or twice a week is plenty, depending on the rainfall in the area.

The plant, and especially the bulbs, should not be allowed to sit in water, as this will cause major damage to the plant. The soil should have good drainage to allow it to soak up water without sitting in it for long periods.

When the plant is becoming establishes, putting a couple of water-retention beads in the soil around the plant can help it to get enough moisture.

Some gardeners create a mound of soil all the way around the plant to direct more water from the surrounding area to the plant’s roots. It is drought-resistant, but it prefers its soil to be moist most of the time unless the plant is dormant.


The soil should have excellent drainage. Putting a handful or two of sand in with the soil can help it to drain better. This plant loves rich soil, so a monthly fertilizer is helpful for times when the plant is not dormant. If it does go dormant during the winter, don’t fertilize during that time. A slow-release fertilizer is best, but you can use a liquid one if you use a half-strength one.


The crinum lily can be propagated by bulbs or by dividing an existing plant. When planting bulbs, they should rest just below the soil’s surface and be placed so that the stem shoots point upward. As the plant grows, it will grow several new bulbs around the old one- as many as five of them each year. The new bulbs can then be moved to anywhere you wish to plant them. The bulbs can get extremely large with some types getting as large as 25 pounds. The best time to plant them is the springtime.


The plant grows long, sturdy stems that the flowers will bloom on. However, if the flowers get overly heavy, you may have to stake the stems for a while to help it hold the weight. Placing these plants near a door or window that you often open will allow you to take in the strong scent of these flowers.