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Rain Lilies Planting Guide

Zephyranthes is a tropical wildflower best known by the name Rain Lilies, which was given due to their tendency to bloom after a hard rainfall. These petite charmers are perfect for filling in bare garden spaces, as they gently naturalize and weave through established plants. The Crocus-like flowers, which arrive in various bright shades, require minimal care to stay stunning from late summer into early fall. Tufts of outward-spreading, narrow, grass-like, green leaves surround the flowers for an irresistibly lush display. Learn more about these delightful blooms with our comprehensive guide!

Success Snapshot






Full to Partial Sun


6" Apart


Summer to Fall


Zones 8-10

Where to Plant

Plant your Rain Lilies in a location where the soil drains well and they will receive full sun. If you notice water puddles 5–6 hours after a hard rain, find another spot to plant. Rain Lilies bloom in response to late season rainfall but will not thrive in soggy soil. We recommend planting these beauties in garden settings where other low water plants can command center stage early to mid-season.

When to Plant

The best time to plant your Rain Lily bulbs outdoors is in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. While they can also be planted in mid to late fall, the soil must be below 60 degrees for them to root properly. Foliage will begin to appear in a few weeks, and flowers are produced in late summer.

How to Plant

  • For outdoor landscape planting, find a location with well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Dig holes and plant the bulbs 1–2" deep and 2–4" apart. In softer soils, these little bulbs can be dropped into holes made with your finger or the end of a stick. Poke, drop, cover, next.
  • For container planting, start with well-drained potting mix in a container large enough to house your plants. Dig holes and plant the bulbs 1–2" deep and slightly closer together, as they prefer to be crowded in containers. Drop the little bulbs into holes made with your finger or the end of a stick. Poke, drop, cover, next.
  • Water thoroughly, soaking the soil to settle it around the bulbs.

How to Grow

  • Provide about 0.5" of water per week during spring and summer, increasing to 1" per week to trigger flowering late in the summer.
  • Leave the foliage in place after blooming has finished for the season. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis, and strengthen the bulbs for the future.
  • Remove foliage once the leaves turn yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy.
  • Allow your Rain Lilies to rest for a while before beginning the next growing cycle in the spring.

Rain Lily Tips & Tricks

  • Partner your Rain Lilies with other low-water plants such as Amaryllis, Watsonia, Crocosmia, Kniphofia, and Scadoxus.
  • Avoid planting these bulbs in containers with early-season bloomers that require more moisture during their flowering periods, as Rain Lilies perform best with little water from winter through mid-summer.
  • Be sure to plant the bulbs immediately, as Rain Lilies resent being out of the ground for long periods.
  • Expect foliage to appear a few weeks after planting and flowers to arrive in late summer.
  • Bring container-planted Rain Lilies indoors, keep them dry for the winter, and then set them outdoors again in spring.