How to Grow and Care for a Gloriosa Lily

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Wondering if a gloriosa lily is a good plant for your garden? Get expert growing tips, plus discover what's important for gardeners to know before planting.

Gloriosa lilyCourtesy Pat Given
Gloriosa lily

“What is this lily-type flower?” asks Pat Given of Santa Fe, Texas.

This unique climber, Gloriosa superba, goes by the common names gloriosa lily, climbing lily, cat’s claw and several more. Hardy in Zones 9 and warmer, it’s grown as an annual, or the tubers can be dug out in fall and stored indoors for winter in colder regions. This plant prefers full or filtered sun and rich, well-draining soil. Mulch the soil to keep roots cool and moist as temperatures climb.

Gloriosa Lily

  • Gloriosa superba
  • Zones 9-11 or annual

Check out the top 10 beautiful lily flowers we love.

gloriosa lilyCourtesy Cindi Parramore
Gloriosa lilies

Start tubers indoors for earlier flowering or plant them directly in the garden 2 to 4 inches deep after the last spring frost. Set the tubers horizontally in the ground, cover with soil, and water. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.

It’s important to note that all parts of this plant are poisonous, so take care when growing around kids and pets. Also, it’s considered invasive in some parts of the U.S. Consult your local extension agent if you have concerns about adding this plant to your garden. You can grow it in a container to keep it from spreading. Psst—here’s the best websites for buying flower bulbs online.

Next, check out 10 easy-to-grow native plants to add to your garden.

Melinda Myers
Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author, columnist and speaker.