Gloriosa superba is grown from seeds or tuber

Gloriosa superba, also known as flame lily, climbing lily or gloriosa lily, can easily be grown from seeds or tuber (rhizome). At Discovery Gardens in Pattaya and Nong Khai (Thailand) we show beautiful, but poisonous gloriosa superba (fire lily) mainly for decoration and offer seeds and tubers for sale.

Gloriosa superba flowers are extremely beautiful

Gloriosa superba flowers are extremely beautiful

The extremely beautiful flowers of gloriosa superba are the main reason to grow them in gardens around Thailand. I grew my first gloriosa lily from a tuber I bought in the market. I then split the rhizome in two and thus got two climbing plants. Be careful, the whole plant is poisonous and has to be handled with care – especially the tuber, but there are also medicinal uses of this plant.

Tubers of gloriosa superba are poisonous like the whole plant

Tubers of gloriosa superba are poisonous like the whole plant

The best time of the year to start growing a flame lily in Thailand is December to February, during the cool and dry season. If the gloriosa superba is exposed to too much water, it easily develops fungal diseases, the stem will then rot. But of course the freshly planted rhizome needs some water initially and over prolonged dry periods and it thrives in locations with full sun. In shady locations it will not develop flowers.

At Discovery Garden we display the fire lily almost all year around

At Discovery Garden we display the fire lily almost all year around

Since the gloriosa superba uses tendrils to climb up 2 or 3 meters high, it is best to provide a frame made of bamboo. When it starts flourishing it is well pollinated by insects in Thailand, so no artificial pollination is necessary.

A seed pod has grown

A seed pod has grown

The plant then starts to grow lengthy green pods filled with red seeds. When the pods of the gloriosa superba mature, they will turn brown, open up and release the seeds. We then cut off the seed pods and dry the seeds.

The seeds are still inside

The seeds are still inside

Fire lily seeds can be planted any time of the year in Thailand in an area well drained. The pots in which you plant the seeds should be exposed to the sun and well watered, but not soaked.

The red seeds are visible now

The red seeds are visible now

After your first gloriosa superba plants grown from seeds have flourished, you can dig the rhizomes out and store them in a dry place until you plant them again. At Discovery Garden Pattaya we show the beautiful, but poisonous fire lily almost all year around and seeds and tubers are normally available too.

Tubers can be split to get two gloriosa superba plants

Tubers can be split to get two gloriosa superba plants

 

One thought on “Gloriosa superba is grown from seeds or tuber

  1. Hello Hans, I am interested in purchasing a small number of the Gloriosa seeds can you let me know what the cost is, I live in Australia. Also can you assist with seeds of Peteroreovitex wolfeii which resembles a yellow wisteria.
    There is a specimum growing in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and seeds of Eucrosia.

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