Habranthus robustus or rain lily: keys to making it healthy and beautiful

Beautiful rain lily habranthus robustus

El habranthus robustus, also known as rain lily, is a plant whose main attraction is its beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers. Originally from the United States, it is a common presence in gardens there.

In Europe it is not a very popular plant, but its beauty manages to capture attention. The bad thing is that its flowers have a very short life and we can barely enjoy them for one or two days. Despite this, if you decide to put this plant in your garden, you will not regret it.

Origin of habranthus robustus

What is the origin of the rain lily?

The rain lily is a plant native to North America, specifically from the area of ​​the Gulf Coast in the United States (Texas and Louisiana). There it enjoys a warm and humid climate in which it can grow in optimal conditions.

Outside of its natural habitat, habranthus robustus is cultivated in other areas for its ornamental value. In addition, it has a good ability to attract pollinators, and that makes this plant a good ally for biodiversity.

Characteristics of this plant

If you are considering putting this variety in your garden, here are some of its most notable characteristics:

  • Bulb. This plant grows from an underground bulb that is responsible for storing the nutrients necessary for birth and flowering. They are small bulbs that usually multiply over time, which means that you end up having several groups of water lilies.
  • Leaves. The foliage of habranthus robustus is made up of long, narrow, bright green leaves. With an appearance that reminds us of grass. The foliage grows in a rosette shape from the base of the plant, and it is common for the leaves to be somewhat shorter than the inflorescences.
  • Flowers. Without a doubt, the most striking feature of this plant is its flowers. These are trumpet-shaped and measure between 2,5 and 5 centimeters long. The most common thing is that they are white with a yellow or pale pink center. They are flowers with a delicate and elegant appearance, composed of six petals. Flowering can occur individually or in small clusters, but in any case the flowers do not live more than one or two days.
  • Size. This is a medium-sized plant, which can reach a maximum of 30 centimeters in height. Therefore, it is ideal for gardens, for placing on the edges of farms, and also for growing in pots.

Habranthus robustus care

The care that the rain lily should receive.

Lily care of water are relatively simple. This is a variety resistant and easy to care for, so it won't cost you too much for it to become one of the protagonists of your garden.

Water Lily Location

This plant is native to warm regions, so it prefers to be exposed to full light for many hours. If you receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight during the day, you will notice that its flowering is much more abundant than if you put it in a shadier place.

Culture medium

Habranthus robustus is quite tolerant of soil conditions and adapts well. Even can grow in sandy soils.

What you do need is that the growing medium has a good drainage, because it is not good for the plant if water accumulates around the bulbs, since this could rot them.

If you plant the rain lily in a pot, make sure the container has a drainage hole so that the substrate can expel excess water from irrigation.

Planting the bulbs

You can plant the bulbs of habranthus robustus in autumn, about five or seven centimeters deep. You decide if you make the hole directly with your hands or with the help of a small shovel, or if you use a specific tool for planting bulbs.

In some garden centers it is possible to find already flowered bulbs (between spring and summer). If you choose to do this, plant them immediately.

Watering this plant

During the growing and flowering season it is important that the substrate is always kept slightly moist. This implies that we must water with certain frequency, but always in a moderate way so as not to soak the soil.

When the plant goes into a dormant stage, we can space out the watering much more and do it every 10 or 15 days.

Habranthus robustus fertilization

To stimulate flowering, we can add to the irrigation water in spring a slow release fertilizer. This will provide the plant with extra nutrients that will help its shoots grow stronger and stimulate flowering.

Rain Lily Pruning

Learn how to prune habranthus robustus

Once flowering has passed, you can easily eliminate the dried flowers, as well as any leaves that you see have acquired a yellow hue. Removing those parts of the plant that are dead will help keep growing vigorously, because it will not dedicate energy to stems that are no longer useful for anything.

Winter care

If you live in an area with mild winters, you can leave the habranthus robustus outdoors, because it resists even light frosts. Now, if you are in an area with colder winters, it is advisable that you apply a little mulch or straw on the substrate to protect the bulbs from low temperatures.

Plant reproduction

Over the years the bulbs will multiply naturally. If you want to reproduce your plant, all you have to do is dig (during the dormant season), separate the bulbs and plant them elsewhere.

Diseases and pests

This plant is not too prone to suffer the effects of pests, but pay special attention to the presence of slugs, aphids and snails, so they don't do too much damage.

As far as diseases are concerned, by ensuring good drainage, you will keep your water lily safe from fungal infestations.

With this care, your habranthus robustus will grow strong and healthy, and you will enjoy all the beauty of its flowers during spring and summer. A perfect plant for the most experienced gardeners and also for the most novice. Do you have it at home? Tell us your experience!

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