Complete Guide to Growing Rain Lily in Your Garden (Including 6 Most Beautiful Types)

Rain lily is hardy perennial found in almost any soil and are often found in the wild, growing on the edges of ponds, rivers, and streams, where they can be enjoyed year-round. These beautiful flowers are perfect for adding color to a landscape, and they bloom almost throughout spring. 

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If you want to grow them in your garden, keep the following in mind.

How to Grow Rain Lilies

Buy Rain lilies from a local or online nursery in bulbs or seedlings. Plant them in soil rich in organic matter and once they germinate, transplant your spring bulbs outside, where they will have full sun and an organic-rich soil, in the springtime once all risk of frost has passed. When planting bulbs, the tip of the bulb should be approximately an inch below the soil surface and spaced between 2 and 4 inches apart. Planting the bulbs in clumps or groups gets the best results.

Rain Lily

While these bulbs may be grown in the ground, it may be more convenient to plant them in a container and bring them inside for the winter, where they can be kept in the shade and protected from cold weather. Flowers and foliage will benefit from frequent watering and fertilization, even if they can endure dry circumstances. Protecting plants from frost necessitates moving those in pots indoors before the freeze. To keep plants in pots throughout the winter from drying out, they must be thoroughly dried and watered only sparingly. Plants in the ground should be picked up before the first freeze gets a chance to kill any of their leaves and preserved for the winter in wet peat in a cool location.  

Rain Lily Flower

If you live in a place with warm weather all year round, your plants may bloom throughout summer. However, if you live in a colder climate, you’ll likely see some blooms in the spring, and then the flowers will wither away as the summer progresses.

How to Care for Rain Lilies

Rain lilies are easy to grow and can be enjoyed year-round but are best grown from spring through early summer. Rain lilies are perfect for beginners who want to learn how to grow and care for plants.

Two common lilies are grown in gardens: the rain lily and the snowflake lily. Both types are easy to grow and native to North America. However, because the rain lily is not hardy north of USDA growing zone 7, it’s best to plant the bulbs in a greenhouse during the summer, dig them up, and store them in a frost-free area.

Rain Lily

A single rain lily can be a beautiful addition to any garden, but it’s even more impressive when you plant several together. If you have room for more than one rain lily, try planting them in a group. That way, they can be enjoyed throughout the year.

There are many steps to take when growing rain lilies, and one of the most critical steps is watering them correctly. They need a lot of water but should never be overwatered or underwater because this will kill the roots and make them die quicker than they would if they were just given enough water. The next step is to fertilize the rain lilies with fertilizer every three weeks to keep them healthy and strong. This will help them grow faster, produce more blooms, and make their leaves thicker, allowing more sunlight to reach the plant. The next step is to prune the plants to keep them from getting too big. This can be done by cutting off the bottom of their leaves, which will cause new leaves to grow in a specific place. 

Light and Soil.

Rain Lily’s ideal soil should be rich and fertile and have plenty of sunlight. If the soil is poor and poorly drained, the seeds will rot and never sprout, and it has a preference for soil with a pH level of 5.5-6.5.

Water and Fertilizer.

Rain lily grows best in dry soil that is kept moist. They are drought tolerant but are sensitive to waterlogged soil. They should be ideally planted between 4 and 6 feet apart, and they need ample space. Rain lilies do not tolerate frost or cold temperatures, and their seeds germinate best if they are planted in warm soil and well-watered. Again, remember the soil should be kept evenly moist and never allowed to dry out.

Organic fertilizers help to create a nutrient-rich environment for your plants. They provide nutrients for the plant to grow well and produce great blooms. There are two kinds of fertilizers. One is the organic fertilizer, and the other is inorganic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers come from natural sources such as compost and manure. 

Complete Guide to Growing Rain Lily in Your Garden

On the other hand, inorganic fertilizers may contain ingredients that can harm the plant and the environment. Therefore, you must avoid using inorganic fertilizers if possible. The best fertilizers are organic fertilizers; They can be cheaper to produce and more effective than inorganic fertilizers. If you don’t have access to organic fertilizers, you should use compost instead. Compost contains bacteria and nutrients that can help the plants grow more naturally.

If you plan to use compost, you must mix it with soil to make the compost suitable for your plants. Compost is made of organic material; hence, useful in helping the soil retain moisture and reduce evaporation.

Temperature and Humidity.

For several reasons, rain lily plants thrive in a specific range of humidity and temperature. If they are too dry, they’ll wither, and their roots will rot if too wet. However, many people tend to forget that you may want to bring your rain lilies indoors in the extreme heat of summer. Rain Lilies thrive in a range of 40°F to 140°F (4°C to 60°C) and 90% to 95% relative humidity; they are great for greenhouse growing.

Pink Rain Lily

Growing rain lilies in Pots and Repotting.

Removing a houseplant from its current container is the first step in repotting it. If you pluck a plant by its stem, you risk damaging or separating the stem from the roots. Most plants can be readily removed from the pot if held upside down and tapped on the edge of a table. Then, with your palm on the dirt and the plant between your fingers, gently shake the container to remove the plant. The repotting container should be bigger than the present container where the plant currently lives. If the pot has been used before, it should be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate the risk of illness being transferred to the new plant. One part liquid bleach to nine parts water works well for cleaning pans. Please give bleach a good rinse after using bleach to clean the pot. 

Rain Lily Flower

Pots with drainage holes used to repot the houseplant are necessary for optimum drainage. A common practice is to add gravel or stones to the bottom of a pot before planting to increase drainage. In contrast, research has found that burying these things in the ground reduces drainage. A high-quality soil mix should be used for repotting plants. Soil that has been around for a long time might harbor pests and illnesses, and it also won’t drain well. Before repotting, the potting soil should be hydrated. The plant’s roots must be cut and unwound if they become tangled. Otherwise, the plant will not grow correctly.

6 Most Beautiful Types of Rain Lily.

Habranthus Tubispathus.

Because of the quantity of little orange-yellow blooms that appear in late summer and early fall, Habranthus tubispathus is referred to as a “copper lily.” The plant thrives in dry soils, and its prolific seed production quickly creates large areas. It is found throughout South America, Central America, and parts of Texas and Louisiana, with a strange distribution.

Rain Lily

Habranthus Brachyandrus.

The enormous orchid-pink blooms with a burgundy collar that blooms late summer. Despite its cold tolerance, this rain lily native to Argentina and Brazil produces enormous clusters of bulbs more quickly than others.

Rain Lily

Zephyranthes Atamasca.

Atamasco lily, rain lily, and Easter lily are all popular names for this rain lily, native to Florida and the rest of the Southeast. During March and April, enormous, white, funnel-shaped flowers develop. Swamps, coastal prairies, and coastal prairies all have abundant populations of this rain lily, which can also be found in roadside ditches. 

Zephyranthes Atamasca

Zephyranthes Grandjax.

Flowers of Zephyranthes Grandjax can be seen from late summer into the fall, with pale pastel pink petals. This plant has a lot of blossoms and proliferates, so it produces enormous clumps of bulbs that can be split and planted without having to worry about generating seeds.

Rain Lily - Zephyranthes Grandjax

Zephyranthes Citrina: 

A native of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the yellow rain lily or citron zephyrily is generally called Zephyranthes citrina. Small, deep-yellow blooms bloom on 8–10-inch stems in late summer and early fall in Florida. This rain lily’s leaves may grow to a whopping 12 inches long. Even though this plant produces a lot of viable seeds, it offsets very little. 

Rain Lily - Zephyranthes_citrina

Zephyranthes Candida.

A native of Argentina and Uruguay, the white Zephyranthes or fairy lily is also known as Zephyranthes candida. Fast-growing bunches of dark green, erect, rush-like leaves up to 10 inches tall are the hallmark of this rain lily. The white, crocus-like blossoms of fairy lily bloom in the late summer and fall in north Florida and the remainder of the southeastern United States. A common sight along roadsides and in ditches is this rain lily, evergreen in north Florida.

Rain Lily - Zephyranthes candida

Zephyranthes Grandiflora. 

Tropical America and the West Indies Islands are home to the pink rain lily, also known as the rose-pink zephyr lily or Zephyranthes Grandiflora. Thanks to its vivid pink, funnel-shaped petals, this rain lily are often regarded as one of the best species. On 10–12-inch-tall stems, each bloom can be up to 4 inches wide and 3 inches long. Bulbs in rich, acidic soils proliferate swiftly because cultivated forms have sterile blooms. Strap-like leaves up to 12 inches long are produced by each bulb. Up to 20 blossoms can be seen at a time on a clump. The rain lily is salt-resistant because it grows in the West Indies islands. 

Rain Lily - Zephyranthes Grandiflora

Growing Rain Lily indoors.

While growing rain lilies indoors isn’t impossible, it requires some careful planning. The best time to plant rain lily bulbs is early spring when outdoor soil temperatures are warm, and there is little risk of frost. However, ensure that your rain lily plants are healthy for indoor planting and keep them in a cool, dry location with lots of sunlight and plenty of room to grow.

Pink Rain Lily

Frequently Asked Questions

Do rain lilies come back every year?

These flowers come back because they are self-sustaining. The bulb itself doesn’t bloom again because it only produces roots, but all parts of the plant are needed to sustain the plant. So the plant has to start from scratch every year. They can’t wait for spring to come around to have a chance to bloom again; consequently, these plants come back year after year. 

Do rain lilies need full sun?

Whether you have a backyard garden, a window box, or even a small patch of grass, there are things you need to know about planting lilies. So what do rain lilies really need? First of all, they need full sun to thrive and they are sun lovers but will tolerate partial shade. They do best with plenty of direct sunlight, but if you live in a cooler climate, strive to provide at least six to seven hours of direct sunlight. Some rain lilies need partial shade to stay healthy, though this isn’t as common.

Yellow Rain Lily

Do rain lily bulbs multiply?

Seed, bulbs, and division are all methods of propagation that can be used for rain lily species. Bulbs can range widely from a few inches to more than 12 inches, depending on the species. Rain lily may be easily propagated by dividing clumps. However, bulb clusters need to be separated every few years since they get too large to be left alone. To speed up the establishment and flowering of rain lily clump divisions, it is recommended that each division contain three or more bulbs. Dormant bulbs are the best time to split bunches of bulbs that would be wintertime for most varieties. 

How do you overwinter rain lilies?

Lilies are among the best flowers you can grow outdoors, especially during the winter. The trick is to keep them watered during the winter and protect them from the wind. You can do this by putting clear plastic bags over them. These bags keep the rain off of the flowers, and they are also a great way to keep the lilies warm in the winter. Rain Lilies will generally survive mild winter outdoors. They’ll grow in soil with ample moisture, and they don’t need a ton of sun. But they do like being watered occasionally during the winter. Rain Lilies don’t need much fertilizer either, as all their nutritional needs are supplied naturally by the soil. Lilies that grow in the ground can be moved outside to a sunny spot in the spring.

When do rain lilies bloom?

When conditions are suitable, the answer is during the spring. However, they typically bloom between April and June. They don’t begin to bloom until after a rainy period. After blooming, the petals drop and become dormant until the following spring or summer. Therefore, they must be planted and watered correctly during the winter. The plants grow slowly through the spring, but the petals do not appear until late spring or early summer. 

Rain Lily

When to divide rain lilies?

Planting the bulbs in clumps or groups and spread out will get the best results as this will result in seedlings not congested in a small area when they first appear. 

Are Rain Lily poisonous?

The bulbs and foliage of most rain lilies varieties contain moderately toxic alkaloids, although the bulb appears to be the most dangerous. Hence, locating this plant away from their reach would be best if you have pets that enjoy digging around your yards.


Rain lilies are native plants to Europe and are widely cultivated across Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The flowers are very fragrant and can be found in many colors, including blue, purple, yellow, pink, orange, red, and white. They are great for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. They are also easy to care for and propagate, so this plant may be perfect if you want to grow rain lilies at home or take your growing experience to the next level.

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