Rain Lily Flower: Meaning, Symbolism, and Colors


Rain lily, also called the Zephyranthes Rosea is a tropical flower. Also considered a wildflower, it is called so because it blooms after a long, hard rainfall. These perennials belong to the Amaryllidaceae family. Native to the southeastern part of the US, these are found in Central and South America. In Greek, zephyrus is the name of the God of the West Wind and anthos means flower. It is also called a Fairy Lily for its seeming ability to appear out of nowhere.

These little flowers are perfect for gardens with space that needs color. Rain Lilies fill any space and settle in with established shrubs and trees. Its leaves look like a clump of grass and look blue/green in color. They resemble crocuses closely and don’t need much care. Based on climate, they bloom from late spring through early fall. The flowers are shaped like a funnel and have six to eight petals. Rain Lily bulbs should be planted 1 to 2 inches apart and 3 inches apart. Lily plants grow 12 inches high and have a cluster of bright flowers. Soil should be mildly acidic and drain well.

Rain lilies must be fertilized regularly so that they bloom profusely. These can be grown in containers as well. These plants thrive in part shade in hot climates and can be planted in full sun in cooler climates. They require some maintenance like regular watering and fertilizing. Once the plant is established, it will spread and put out more flowers. Rain lilies can be planted in containers or along walkways. They provide a pop of color wherever they are placed.

Once the blooming season is over, let the bulbs hibernate and dig them up for winter storage. They should be replanted every season in cold regions. In temperate and warm climates, the bulbs can be left in the ground.

What do rain lily flowers symbolize?

The Rain Lily flower symbolizes new beginnings, hope, joy, happiness, marriage, prosperity, and rebirth.

What do the various colors of the rain lily flower mean?


An orange rain lily flower’s meaning is prosperity and confidence.

Source: iStock

The white rain lily flower’s meaning is resurrection, rebirth, and new beginnings.

Source: Pexels

A pink rain lily flower’s meaning is love. This is a perfect symbol for people to have loving relationships and strong marriage.

Source: iStock

A yellow rain lily flower’s meaning is happiness, hope and joy.

Interesting facts and characteristics of the rain lily flower

· The rain lily belongs to the Amaryllis family and a perennial.

· Its name in Greek means flowers of the west wind. It is also called the fairy lily, magic lily and Windblume, which means wind flower in German.

· The rain lily plant is small and grows to about 8 inches in height. Only 5 or 6 flowers grow from each bulb.

· In really cold regions, it is considered an annual and mostly grown in containers.

· It is native to the southern and eastern parts of the US.

· It mostly grows in areas with a lot of rain.

· There are 70 species of Rain Lily and many hybrids.

· Most Rain Lily plants have foliage that looks like grass. A few species have wide lives.

· They like tropical weather and can grow in colder temperatures. In cold climates, they are best grown in containers.

· Every part of the Rain Lily plant is toxic to humans. It causes vomiting and diarrhea if eaten.

· Some Rain Lilies are fragrant and attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees.

· It is called the Fairy Lily because the flowers appear like magic after a hard rain.

· Rain Lilies multiply by seeding and by bulb division.

· Rain lily flowers resemble a crocus in shape and often mistakenly identified as such.

· Flower size can range between 1 to 3 inches.

· Rain lilies can be planted in any landscape – rock gardens, along walkways, small spaces, and even in borders.

· Watered and fertilized regularly, they bloom profusely from late spring to early fall and put a riot of color.

· A white rain lily is calming like the rain.

· Rain Lilies, especially the white ones are called storm lilies, Peruvian swamp lilies, and autumn crocus.

· Rain lilies range in height from 6 to 12 inches and have leaves that resemble grass.

· In some countries, rain lilies have become more like weeds.

· Rain lilies bloom two to four weeks after being planted in the ground.

· Rain lily seeds have to be planted the very next season. They do not last long if they are stored. Let the seeds dry after they are picked. Seeds should be stored in paper bags. Storing in plastic bags will result in rotting and mildewed seeds.

· Lily bulbs fare better long term and flower every year if they are left in the ground.

The Best time to gift someone rain lily flowers

Now that you know more about the rain lily flower’s meaning based on color, it is easy to pick one for a gift. You can get white or pink flowers for someone who just got married or has moved into a new home. You can present yellow lilies to anyone who makes you happy and represents joy in your life. If you are not sure, then just get all the colors as a present. The recipient can plant them in their garden or just keep the container in a prominent spot. This will remind them of the reason they got rain lilies as a gift. Rain lilies make good and thoughtful gifts and you can never go wrong with these beautiful flowers. If they are available, you can choose a fragrant variety too – beauty and fragrance in a single package.


Rain Lilies are easy to find in garden centers. If you want to grow them from a bulb, you can order them online and create a beautiful flower bed with different colors. These flowers are easy to grow and require just a bit of maintenance. They can be planted in combination with other flowers for maximum effect. For ideas and inspiration, check out garden related websites and plan your flowerbeds. You can also grow some and give them away as personalized gifts, now that you know the exact Rain Lily flower meaning based on each color.

Reference Links:

· https://www.thespruce.com/rain-lilies-1316065

· https://www.easytogrowbulbs.com/pages/rain-lilies-zephyranthes-planting-guide

· https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/landscaping-and-hardscaping/rain-lily

· https://nurserylive.com/products/zephyranthes-lily-random-color-flower-bulbs

· https://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2624

· https://www.atozflowers.com/flower/zephyranthes/

· https://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/bulb/rain-lily/