There’s nothing quite like crinums for creating a big impact in the garden in late summer. If you’re looking to grow something a bit different, or have a gap you’d like to fill with something impressive and statuesque, give crinums a try!
Flowering in late summer with giant lily-like blooms, they’re just what any garden needs to pick up the slack when the summer displays are slowing down. Not only do the blooms look magnificent, but their fragrance is absolutely heavenly. Each flower is held up high by a tall, sturdy stem (reaching up to 1.5m in height) and they look great towering gracefully in mixed borders or shrubberies, particularly when planted close to a pond.
Crinums, also known as swamp lilies, are bulbous perennials and come from sub-tropical areas including South America and South Africa. As their common name suggests, in the wild they’re found growing in boggy, marshy or swampy areas. That said, they don’t like to sit in wet soil all the time. A sunny border with deep, rich, free-draining soil is perfect for them. They love warm moist soil, and a typical UK summer provides just the right amount of both warm and wet conditions for them to thrive. Despite their more exotic origins, they’re quite hardy – they tolerate frost and can cope with a mild winter in sheltered gardens. To be on the safe side, they can easily be lifted and stored in a frost-free place over winter.
Alternatively, crinums can also be grown indoors. If you have a conservatory or ornamental greenhouse, they make a superb addition to your indoor displays and the smell truly delight the senses.