Plant and care for a torch lily

Plant and care for a torch lily

Care tips

It is no coincidence that the torch lily is a welcome guest in the green kingdom for hobby gardeners, because care is limited to these measures:

  • Don't skimp on irrigation water during the summer
  • Do not water the flowers, but water them directly at the roots
  • From May to August, fertilize repeatedly with compost and horn shavings (€ 6.39 on Amazon *)
  • Apply liquid fertilizer in the bucket every 14 days

also read

  • Torch lily - easy-care ornamental shrub with a long flowering time
  • What to do if the torch lily just won't bloom?
  • Not all varieties of the torch lily are hardy

Cut off wilted flower candles regularly. The foliage remains on the plant until spring and is then cut off near the ground. A layer of fir fronds, leaves or straw protects torch lilies from winter damage. If the temperatures are below freezing and the snow cannot be seen, water torch lilies on a frost-free day.

Which location is suitable?

Since the colorful ornamental shrub comes from the sun-drenched regions of South Africa, the chosen location should be as close as possible to the local conditions. The torch lily thrives splendidly in these locations:

  • Full sun to sunny location
  • Warm and sheltered from the wind
  • Humous soil, loamy-sandy and well-drained
  • Gladly with a slight lime content

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When is the flowering time?

Depending on the selected variety, the flowering period begins in June and continues into October if the weather is summer. So that you can enjoy the rocket flowers over the entire period, the varieties are combined accordingly. For example, join early flowering “Grandiflora” and “Royal Standard” with late flowering “Bernock's Triumph” and “Evening Star”.

You can also extend the flowering period by shortening withered stems to 20 centimeters after the first flower pile. In contrast, it is a misconception that plenty of fertilizer has a beneficial effect on the flower. Rather, an overdose of fertilizer causes increased growth of the leaves at the expense of the flowering period.

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Cut the torch lily correctly

Apart from the regular pruning of withered flowers, the torch lily does not get to know the secateurs during the year. If you aim to harvest the seeds, do not cut off withered flowers at first. Leave the evergreen foliage on the plant until spring and only then cut it off close to the ground.

If you cut a torch lily during the transition from bud to flower, you will get a long-lasting vase decoration.

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Due to its South African origin, the torch lily is considered to be partially hardy. It is less the frosty temperatures than the permanent winter wetness that troubles a rocket flower. Therefore, before the first frost, take these precautions:

  • Cut off the withered flower stems and let the leaves stand
  • Tie the leaves in a loose tuft with sisal or bast ribbon
  • Finally, cover the bedding area with straw, coniferous branches or leaves
  • Only water a little and do not fertilize on frost-free days when there is clear frost

In explicitly rough locations, dig out the roots to put them in a pot of potting soil. In the bright, frost-free room, the torch lily comes through the cold season well protected, so that it can be planted again in May. Do not let the flower dry out completely during this time and stop fertilizing.

Is Torch Lily Poisonous?

Good news for young parents and responsible grandparents: the torch lily is not poisonous. It can therefore be cultivated safely within the reach of children. The jewelry plant poses no danger for pets either.

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Torch lily does not bloom

If a torch lily refuses to flower, this shortcoming results from various causes. Although it is a perennial, the flower initially behaves like a biennial plant. It is not uncommon for torch lilies to bloom for the first time in the second or third year after planting. If the young plant originates from the sowing of seeds, it can take up to 5 years until the first flower appears. Should an established rocket flower fail to bloom, these triggers can be considered:

  • Waterlogging with consequent root rot
  • Nutrient deficiency due to insufficient fertilizer application
  • Winter damage due to insufficient protective measures
  • Pruning prematurely in autumn instead of spring

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The seeds of the torch lily

Aim for sowing seeds, do not cut off withered flower heads. Instead, the capsule fruits ripen in order to harvest the seeds inside. Since these are cold germs, fill the seeds with moist sand in a plastic bag. Stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, the seeds undergo a six-week stratification, without which germination cannot take place. This is how the sowing continues:

  • Small cultivation pots (€ 14.90 at Amazon *) fill with peat sand, coconut powder or commercially available seed soil
  • Place 2-3 seeds on the moistened substrate and sieve thinly
  • Keep constantly moist in the partially shaded, warm window seat

Within 4 weeks, the delicate cotyledons break through the seed coat. If at least 1 real pair of leaves has developed over the cotyledons, the young torch lilies are pricked out. Until the beginning of the planting season in mid-May, you can look after your pupils in a bright, warm location without the blazing midday sun.

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Is the torch lily hardy?

Most of the species and varieties of torch lily are not completely hardy. Nevertheless, you can stay in the garden during the cold season if you take the following precautions:

  • Do not cut the leaves in autumn
  • Instead, tie the leaves together, leaving the heart largely exposed
  • Cover with leaves, straw, fir leaves or reed mats

Torch lilies in the bucket are better placed in a light, frost-free winter quarters.

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The most beautiful varieties

  • Fire candle: pompous flower torch in orange-red with a long flowering period from July to October
  • Ice Queen: royal splendor with creamy white flowers and a majestic height of 120 centimeters
  • Saffron bird: the delicate variety captivates with iridescent flower candles in salmon pink and cream
  • Vanilla: once the creamy yellow flowers have exuded their charm, the evergreen foliage adorns the garden
  • Little Maid: the yellow torch lily with a graceful height of 50 cm is recommended for growing in pots
  • Royal Standard: two-colored noble variety in red and yellow with a robust constitution and early flowering
  • Luna: impressive rocket flower with a light yellow flower and a height of up to 120 centimeters
  • Alcazar: popular container flower thanks to its fiery red bloom from July to September, at a height of 40-90 centimeters
  • Green Jade: slim silhouette and subtle greenish white flowers characterize the beauty
  • St. Gallen: an extremely robust torch lily with orange blossoms from August to October