Crinums … what are they? They are beautiful and fragrant flowering bulbs that bloom from summer to late fall. The color of their blooms vary – from white to pink, to burgundy and beyond. The blooms don’t hang around for long, but when they do … it is a beautiful sight and a sensual experience.
Living here in Florida, these type of plants help bring a tropical flavor to our landscape. Even when the plants don’t have any blooms on them, their foliage is still quite attractive. They don’t require constant upkeep or maintenance, which is a gardening joy I appreciate.
They are a hardy plant – and about as tough as they come. Even if the climate soars to unbearable heat, or sinks to below-zero temperatures, the Crinums will fare just fine. With minimal care, these are plants that you can enjoy for your entire life.
Crinums can take sun or light shade, wet or dry soil, and can bloom repeatedly from spring to fall. They should bloom quickly after soaking rains during the growing season. Be warned; however, that established Crinums are hard to transplant. Old bulbs can weigh more than 20 pounds. (Most bulbs that you buy usually weigh between 1 to 2 pounds.) Since mature plants are very hard to remove and/or transplant, be sure to plant them where you want them forever.
There are hundreds of choice bulbs that will revel in southern warmth and humidity, and Scott Ogden profiles the best of them in a fascinating book – Garden Bulbs for the South. In a series of different chapters, Ogden introduces the plants that help give southern gardens their distinct regional flavor. Many of them have charmingly descriptive names: Rain Lilies, Oxblood Lilies, Jonquils, Crinums, and scores of others. Garden Bulbs for the South is a great book that weaves in bits of history and lore, while still detailing each plant’s appearance and growing requirements – including the lovely Crinum.