Toad lilies (Tricyrtis hirta) are captivating additions to any shaded garden. These extraordinary lilies showcase six-petaled flowers in shades ranging from white to light purple, reminiscent of the mesmerising purple-spotted Phalaenopsis orchids. The blooms are renowned for their lively purple spots, adorning tall, gracefully arching stems that hold leaves arranged in a unique ladder-like pattern.
Adding to their charm, the flowers exhibit a floppy, fringy, and speckled style, with stamens bursting up and outward from the petals. The entire plant is covered in fine hairs, which explains its common name, "hairy toad lily." For a delightful late summer or autumn floral display, it's best to plant toad lilies in the spring.
Toad lilies thrive with relatively simple care when planted in suitable conditions. They favour moist and nutrient-rich soil, as well as shade or partial shade, along with consistent watering. Ensuring the soil maintains regular moisture levels promotes their upward growth. Due to their tall stalks, it's advantageous to plant them in locations that provide protection from strong winds.
How to Plant:
- Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the bare root without bending or crowding the roots.
- Place the bare root in the hole, ensuring the growing tip is facing upwards.
- Gently backfill the hole with soil, firming it around the root to eliminate air pockets.
- Water the newly planted bare root thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots and encourage root establishment. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged, during the growing season.
- Regularly water Toad lilies during dry spells, particularly in the first growing season. Aim for a consistent moisture level in the soil.
- Remove any weeds that may compete for nutrients and water with the young plants.
- As the plants grow taller, consider staking or providing support to prevent the stalks from bending or breaking.
- Once established, Toad lilies will reward you with their unique and enchanting blooms. Admire the striking flowers that grace your shaded garden in late summer and autumn.
Remember that every plant has its preferences and may require specific care tailored to its growing conditions. Observing your Toad lilies regularly and adapting your care accordingly will ensure their health and beauty for years to come. Happy gardening!