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Lycoris belongs to a group of 13-20 flowering plants and belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. Indigenous to Asia, lycoris plants can be found in China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Lycoris is also found in northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. They were imported to the Americas and can be found in North Carolina, in the wild.

Lycoris is also called hurricane lily, resurrection lily or cluster amaryllis. It is also called spider lily, because of its striking flowers. Thin and delicate petals on tall stamens look like flowers on spider legs. The flowers are 8 to 10 inches in size and bloom in the late summer to fall. These are not true lilies and are very similar to Amaryllis plants. Lycoris remains dormant in the summer and blooms in the fall and winter.

Lycoris is a perennial and a bulb. Unlike most perennial plants his plant is a great addition to any garden and its cut flowers look gorgeous in a bouquet. If you want a low maintenance plant, lycoris is the perfect choice. Lycoris grows about 3 feet tall and does well in full or partial sun. It likes well-draining, rich and alkaline soil. Plant them in an area which gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight during the day. Amend the soil around these bulbs by adding compost, mulch and bark to keep the soil healthy. Adding these elements will also provide the required drainage.

Unlike most perennials, spider lilies remain dormant in the summer. They should not be disturbed or watered during this hibernation period. If you plan to have spider lilies in your garden, plant them in an area which is not watered. While they are actively growing, spider lilies require moderate watering, and the soil should be moist. This will encourage good growth. Don’t saturate the soil because the bulbs will rot. Stop watering when the foliage dies in the spring.

Lycoris doesn’t handle cold temperatures well. It will die if the temperature falls below 20° Fahrenheit. If you live in an areas where winter temperatures are cold, protect the bulb with a thick layer of mulch. Just as foliage and flowers begin to appear, apply a high nitrogen fertilizer to encourage blooming. After the plant is done flowering, apply high phosphorus fertilizer – this will help them survive cold weather.

There are more than 20 varieties of lycoris. Of these, the following are the most popular – white lilies, golden lilies, red lilies, resurrection lilies and electric blue lilies. You can grow lilies from seed or bulbs. Plant the bulbs in the late summer or early fall. Set them around 9 inches apart and the top 1/4th of the bulb should be visible above the soil line. Lycoris does not flower during the first year after it has been planted.

Lycoris also grows well in containers. While trying to grow them in containers, plant them deeper than the recommended depth. This will help the root system grow strong and develop well. Follow the same instruction for soil requirements, fertilizing and care. Move the container indoors in cold weather so that the bulbs

What does the Lycoris flower symbolize?

Lycoris flowers symbolize death and final goodbyes. In some cultures, they stand for reincarnation too. It is associated with sad memories. There are several colors in Lycoris flowers and each has a profoundly different meaning.

What do the various colors of the Lycoris flower mean?

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White spider lily flower meaning is positivity, freshness and a simple life. It is a good variety to grow as it also stands for new beginnings. Good beginnings change the tenor of a person’s life.

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Yellow spider lily meaning is associated with richness and wealth. The yellow lily symbolizes courage, wisdom, love and much more. It also stands for happiness and cheer in life.

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Pink spider lily meaning is feminine beauty, passion and love.

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Red spider lily flower meaning stands for a final goodbye. According to Buddhist philosophy, red spiders lilies guide the dead through their journey and the cycle of rebirth.

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Blue spider lily meaning is truth and calm energy. It is associated with stability in life, inspiration and positivity. Blue also represents self-determination.

Interesting facts and characteristics of the Lycoris flower

· Lycoris plants bloom very differently from other plants. The blooms appear on stalks which o not have any leaves. That is where they get the name Naked Ladies/Surprise lilies.

· Beautiful lycoris flowers are very attractive to butterflies. Deer, moles and gophers avoid lycoris plants and bulbs.

· Lycoris is very drought resistant once it gets established in a spot.

· It lives long and very low maintenance.

· Indigenous to China, lycoris flower have a rich historical background. People believe that these flowers bloom in Paradise, on the other shores.

· In Japan, the flower is a symbol to honor lovers who are cursed. In Kinchakuda Manjushage Park in Hidaka, Japan, there is an area which has over 5 million red spider lily bulbs. These grow under trees and it is a sight to behold when all the flowers are in full bloom.

· Lycoris is extensively cultivated and planted as ornamental flowers in many parts of Asia.

· Lycoris bulbs will rot if there is too much water in the soil around them.

· Planted in trios and along with other bulbs and plants, you will have a wonderful display of color and flowers.

· All lycoris plants contain alkaloids which are poisonous. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In extreme cases, ingesting lycoris can cause death.

· Lycoris radiata is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a range of illnesses. It is effective in treating ulcers, liver and stomach issues, epilepsy and even rheumatism.

The best time to gift someone Lycoris flowers

Now that you know what lycoris flowers symbolize, you can choose the right color to send the right message. If someone is starting out in a new home or a new life together, white lycoris is a good choice as it means new beginnings. Yellow lycoris stands for happiness and can also be gifted to show appreciation. You can take a plant in a container or a bag of bulbs as a gift to someone you care about.


Lycoris aka Spider Lily is a beautiful and striking flower that adds interest to any garden. Get this hardy bulb for your garden or plant it in containers with other flowers for a showy display. It is easy to take care of and low maintenance, a perfect plant for a beginner gardener.