How to plant gloriosas

Also known as glory lilies or flame lilies, gloriosas are striking tuberous perennials commonly found in tropical Africa and Asia sporting bold exotic flowers and tendril-tipped leaves that allow them to climb up nearby structures. Real statement plants, their dramatic and unusual yellow-flamed red or mahogany blooms are a wonderful sight to witness. As they will need heat to develop shoots and roots, gloriosas will thrive placed in a warm conservatory or greenhouse or planted against a sunny wall. Since they are twining plants, they will also require support.

Plant in soil based compost or John Innes compost No.2 in a large deep pot. Only plant them a few centimetres deep and, if you are unsure where the top is plant the tubers horizontally. Water them sparingly at first, then water regularly and feed weekly when in growth. If you garden organically, liquid seaweed is ideal as it is organic and comes from a sustainable source. After flowering, slow the watering down before completely stopping as they will need to dry out. Leave your gloriosas in their pots in a warm place.

In very warm areas, gloriosas can be grown outdoors in the summer but must be brought back inside at the end of the season as they are tender plants.

Always unpack on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant. Take care! All parts of the plant, especially the tubers, are poisonous and should never be eaten.

Potential problems, pests and diseases:

Generally, gloriosas do not suffer from any serious diseases or pest problems. However, they may be affected by aphids. These sap-eating insects can weaken plants and spread viruses. Whenever possible, pick off by hand using gloves.

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