This astonishing hardy perennial makes a fascinating talking point. The tall stems of the Giant Himalayan Lily tower to 2.5m (98") or more in an awe-inspiring display. With maturity Cardicrinum giganteum is topped with a crown of white Lily-like blooms from June the July. The trumpet shaped flowers have a powerful fragrance, attracting plenty of pollinating insects, before they are replaced by interesting oblong seedpods in late summer. The Giant Himalayan Lily may take 3 or more years to flower but is well worth the wait.
This fascinating plant is monocarpic, meaning that it dies after flowering - but don't be put off, it leaves behind offsets that will flower in 3 to 5 years time. Cardiocrinum giganteum is a most unusual plant that will add a real focal point to lightly shaded exotic gardens and woodland borders. Height: 250 cm (98"). Spread: 45cm (18").
Sow Cardiocrinum giganteum seeds from February to July at 13-18C (55-65F), on the surface of a peaty compost. Cover with 1.5mm of compost or vermiculite and keep the soil damp but not wet.
After sowing, seal the pot inside a polythene bag and leave at 13-18C (55-65F) for 2-3 weeks. Then move the pots to a refrigerator (not freezer) for 3-6 weeks, after which they should be returned to the recommended germination temperature of 13-18C (55-65F). Germination can be very slow and the compost should be kept moist at all times.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outside during the following spring, at a distance of 90cm (3') apart. Cardiocrinum giganteum plants enjoy a reliably moist, well drained soil that is rich in organic matter. It is well worth preparing the soil prior to planting by adding plenty of leaf mould or compost. The Giant Himalayan Lily dislikes hot, dry conditions. Choose a position in light or dappled shade, with shelter from strong winds.
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