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Cardiocrinum Giganteum [Kar-dee-oh-KRY-num, Jy-GAN-tee-um] belongs to the Liliaceae family and is the largest species of lily plants.
This glorious looking plant is a native to Myanmar, China, and the Himalayas.
It’s also referred to as Lilium Giganteum, looks breathtaking during the summer season when its enormous flowers start appearing on stems.
Whether in seed pots or fully bloomed, this plant is a sight to behold in any garden.
The common names for Cardiocrinum Giganteum include:
- Giant Lily
- Giant Himalayan Lily
Cardiocrinum Giganteum Plants Care
Size & Growth
This plant grows up to 11’ – 14’ feet high. It is a big bulbous perennial, which sprouts heart-shaped leaves.
The stems of this plant are about 9’ feet tall, which rise from a basal rosette with hosta-like, glossy and dark to medium green leaves.
Each leaf is about 12” – 15” inches long, but the leaves on the stems are smaller in size.
Every raceme includes around 20 flowers.
Flowering and Fragrance
This plant sprouts trumpet-like, vanilla-scented flowers, growing about 8” – 9” inches tall.
The outer petals have a slightly green tinge, while the rest of the petals are a purple shade.
They bloom time of this plant is between June to August, but they bloom their best during the summer season.
After the flowers fully bloom, the bulb dies, leaving behind the offsets of the bulb.
The decorative seed capsules follow the bloom.
Light & Temperature
The giant lily thrives in semi-shaded places. It is best to position the plant where it receives light shade, but also gets an adequate amount of light.
It won’t do well in harsh winters when placed in cold gardens, as its foliage will suffer damage.
The plant tolerates temperature as low as 14° degrees Fahrenheit (-10° C).
The USDA zone for this plant’s hardiness is 6 – 9.
Watering and Feeding
This plant prefers moist soil, but can’t tolerate standing water around its roots or bulbs.
It must be fed with a light fertilizer annually, preferably during the spring season.
Soil & Transplanting
This plant grows best in moist, organically rich, humus, fertile, and well-drained soil.
Make sure to position it in a place where it is protected from strong winds.
Transplant the seedlings after every two years just when the plant begins to reshoot during the early spring.
It may equally be grown in a nursery bed for around two to three years before transferring them to their permanent location in the garden.
When potting or planting on smaller bulbs, the soil shouldn’t cover more than half of the bulb.
Grooming and Maintenance
Plant the seedlings of Cardiocrinum Giganteum about 24” inches apart in partial shade for optimal growth.
It’s normal for this plant to not flower for about five years, and even longer in some cases.
Remove dead leaves and cut back the weak-looking stems.
LIke the Foxtail lily (Eremurus) Cardiocrinum lilies takes sme room but they are worth the wait and show!
How To Propagate Giant Himalayan Lily
The propagation of this plant is done through seeds.
Plant seeds as soon as they become ripe in a cold frame, during the autumn season.
It has late epigeal germination and typically germinates during the spring season.
However, it might take around two years, particularly if the seeds have been stored before sowing.
Sow seeds in an alternative way by mixing the seeds with moist leaf mold and sealing them in a clear bag.
Store it for three weeks at a temperature of 68° degrees Fahrenheit (20° C).
Afterward, pot up the germinated seeds.
If some of the seeds haven’t completed their germination process, put them in a refrigerator for four to five weeks.
The seedlings of the Giant Himalayan Lily must grow in pots, placed at a shaded position in a greenhouse or a cold frame for around three to four years before transferring them to their permanent location.
The bulbs are taken from an old plant’s base after they are finished flowering.
Pot those bulbs up and plant them once they establish.
Giant Himalayan Lily Pest or Diseases
The giant lily needs plenty of care and maintenance to grow optimally.
This plant is considered a high maintenance plant. Be on a lookout for:
- Snails and slugs
These pests might make the plant vulnerable to lily mosaic virus.
This virus is mostly spread by aphids, which means the problem must be promptly tackled since there isn’t any cure for this infection.
If the plant regularly experiences poorly drained soil and wet conditions, it results in bulb rotting.
Cardiocrinum Giganteum Uses
This plant is used in the partially shaded side of the borders, in woodland gardens, and full sun-dappled areas, which are shaded by trees.
Medicinally, the leaves of this plant are utilized as external cooling aid for alleviating the pain of bruises and wounds.