The Amazon Lily plant, whiter than snow outside the greenhouse window are the five petals of the “eucharist lily” the Eucharis grandiflora [YOU-kar-is gran-di-FLO-ra].
Lovely, too, is its chartreuse lined perianth-cup, with six anthers and a white central pistil, that gives off a delicate perfume reminiscent of several tropical plants.
The Amazon Lily Eucharis A Native Of The Andes!
The Amazon lily are monocotyledonous, bulbous plants originating from the rainforest of the South American Andes of Peru and Colombia.
This so-called “hothouse bulbous plant,” has large glossy leaves, deep green foliage, with ribbings similar to those of the familiar plantain-lily found in gardens.
There are about 10 species of plant belonging to Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis family) and they all bear fragrant white flowers.
The lily’s main flowering season is in winter although it can bloom several times a year in spring or during summer.
The flower stalk, which for me appeared in December, resembled a slim version of an amaryllis stalk.
When this attained a height of 19″ inches, the outside bracts fell back and revealed five buds, with curving stems, that grew in size daily.
The first white flower opened with a span of four inches, showing off the Eucharist lilly plants beauty.
What Are The Lily Eucharis Growing Requirements?
The Amazon lily Eucharis thrives under humid conditions in South America, it is best to grow it as a potted plant in a location where several other plants are growing together.
This makes it easier to maintain a humid environment. When left to grow undisturbed, this flowering plant reproduces and can actually flower several times annually.
You can also plant them outside in a shady place or grow them in a pot where you can move them to protected areas during winter.
This beautiful plant does well in areas whose minimal temperatures range between 65°-70° degrees Fahrenheit at night and by day; they can relatively increase by 10°-15° degrees Fahrenheit. It also does well in soils that are rich in organic matter.
How To Care For The Eucharis Grandiflora Lily
The easy to grow Amazon lilly bulbs can be bought in the fall. You can start with 4-5 bulbs in a six to eight-inch container since they bloom best when crowded.
Just remember to plant them with their necks slightly above the soil surface. Ensure that the soil is loose and well-drained. It’s important to note that they bloom best when pot bound.
Use regular soil with 25%-50% perlite or pumice. Add a to 1″ inch layer of gravel or charcoal at the bottom.
It thrives in a well-fertilized soil that’s rich in organic matter. The soil should also be kept evenly moist during the growing season for best results.
After flowering, you can reduce the rate of watering for about 2- 4 weeks to allow the plant to rest although caution should be taken not to dry out the soil completely.
After this, the plant will produce new stems and fragrant flowers. It is best to plant the Amazon lily in sunny conditions although not in direct sunlight as its leaves tend to get burned especially during spring or summer.
Remember to plant it in protected areas as the lily does not like to be blown about by the wind.
Amazon lilies produce offsets just like other bulbs, however, don’t be quick to replant them in a different container.
Allow them to reproduce till the container is full then divide them only when they seem ready to break the container. This is because their roots don’t like to be disturbed and can fail to bloom for a whole year or more after being repotted.
If undisturbed, this plant can actually live in one container for many years.
When the need arises, it is recommended to carry out the repotting of the lily during spring.
In order to do so, separate the small bulbs from the parent bulb. Select offsets that have at least one leaf as they will grow very fast as long as they have bright light and bottom heat but no direct sunlight.
Ensure that where you are repotting them to, the soil is moist, porous and well-drained. Feed and water them on a regular basis as they do not require any rest period before they flower for the first time.
When taking the offsets, extreme caution should be taken not to disturb the roots too much lest they fail to bloom for a year or more. However, this exercise should be done every 3- 4 years.
Make sure not to spray water on the open flowers. The cut flowers of the lily have the amazing ability to live for about 8 days provided clean fresh water is supplied to them on a regular basis.
Moreover, every now and then, remove withered leaves and faded blooms from the pot.
The Eucharis Amazonica Lily and Pests!
Although the Amazon lily is rarely bothered by pests and diseases due to its sturdy nature, it is advisable to be on the lookout for pests such as scale bug insects, caterpillars, bulb mites, thrips and spider mites.
In winter when humidity is low a Spider mite problem can show up, if the plant is placed near a warm, sunny window.
Frequent misting helps to keep humidity high and these mites can be easily wiped off with some damp sponge as they can cause stippling of leaves making them to lose their gloss.
Thrips are tiny insects black in color that tend to hide under the leaves. They feed on the leaf leaving behind a silvery stippling. They can also be easily removed by wiping with a damp sponge.
I’ve Personally Found The Amazon Lily Plant Thriving on Neglect
At one time, the Amazon Lily almost did not make as I came close to discarding this beautiful plant.
For five years, I have carried my lily back and forth from the garden to the greenhouse, evidently watering it too much and dividing the bulbs too often.
This fall, I decided to dispense with geraniums, begonias and other space-taking plants and concentrate more on tropicals. The “amazing lily”, completely and most definitely pot-bound, was dug up, pot and all, at the first indication of frost.
After this, I left the Amazon lily outdoors for a month, where it had a chance to dry out. The foliage continued to flourish, so it was brought into the greenhouse to use for background. Apparent neglect was evidently what the Eucharis lily needed to bring it into bloom.
Growing The Amazon Lily
Now the Amazon Lily receives same treatment as other plants. It summers under a tree in the garden and winters in a greenhouse run at 55° degrees Fahrenheit minimum, with ventilators set to open at 75° degrees Fahrenheit when the sun is shining. Potted in a well-drained soil in an earthernware pot, with broken pieces over the drainage hole.
Every two weeks it is fed with a soluble concentrated liquid plant food and sprayed each morning with warm water.
The Amazon-lily is susceptible to mealy bugs and red spider, but thus far, I have had no trouble. Offsets may be taken from the bulbs in the spring, remembering that they do not like disturbance.
Use loam, with one-third cow manure, or compost, plus sand and charcoal, to keep the mixture porous. Water sparingly until growth begins.
The bulbs of eucharis can be forced into bloom two or three times a year, if water is withheld until the leaves start to wilt.
Then water and allow to dry for a month. Thereafter, water regularly and feed about every two weeks until the flowers open. Discontinue feeding until new leaves appear.
Reader Mary Keeley Shares Her Eucharis Lily Experience
I was torn between selecting Sprekelia (aztec lily) or eucharis as my favorite plant and in the toss-up chose Eucharis grandiflora or the alabaster Lily of the Amazon and I don’t regret it.
I ordered the bulbs of this “lily” online. Mine have blossomed twice and I am hoping that they will favor me again next April although last year seemed to be their year for multiplying and I divided them into six pots.
This native of the Colombian Andes is a handsome plant for the window garden. It has long stemmed basal leaves and clusters of dazzling white, trumpet-like blossoms with a perfume that’s subtle yet potent enough to permeate the house.
Being too busy to fuss over house plants, I give it no special care. It’s kept potted in a coarse, fibrous soil with charcoal and sand, in an east window with other amaryllids and watered whenever dry.
During spring and fall it’s fed once a month with liquid plant food and in winter (bi-weekly when blooming).
In the summer, I set it out on a shelf in deep shade. When it looks thirsty, I give it a bath under the faucet, as red spiders hate that as much as the plant likes it.
The form and chaste lustrous white of the Amazon Lily are very distinctive. When it blooms I drop everything and call the neighbors in.
What Are Some Uses For The Amazon Lily?
- They make a fantastic container plant, with its dark green leaves and shade loving.
- It’s also a popular and beautiful bridal flower plant.
- It makes an excellent indoor plant, that can add beauty to any given space.
Since you may not find the Amazon lily bulbs in the stores, you can opt to order them online from a mail-order specialty bulb nursery.
When purchasing Amazon lily bulbs, ensure that the green stems have not somewhat snapped in the pack. Ensure that the stems look healthy and are firm and succulent which is the best guarantee that they are alive and will beautifully flower.
Given the right care, the Amazon lily can last for many, many years. You’ll love the beauty and color they will add to your life.