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Planting Zephyranthes in a Riparium Planter

This post describes a recommended way to plant Rain Lily (Zephyranthes spp.) in a riparium planter. Rain Lily is an excellent riaprium plant! There are a number of Zephyranthes species that occur from the Southern US and south into South America. Many of them, including most of the cultivated species/varieties, are true water-associated plants that grow in marshy areas or along rivers, so they adapt well to riparium growing. Rain Lilies also have beautiful flowers! Pink, yellow and white are the most common colors.

Rain Lily grows from a bulb. Sometimes plants are sold potted with green foliage, but you might also find them for sale as dry, dormant bulbs.

Whether dormant or actively-growing, the Rain Lily should be planted so that the bulb is buried in substrate with just the tip of the shoot extending above. This picture shows a riparium planter half-filled with substrate and with a pair of Rain Lily bulbs positioned inside. You might wish to add an aquarium root tab fertilizer (not shown), such as API Root Tabs or Seachem Flourish Tabs, before planting the bulbs. Like many bulb plants, Rain Lily displays the best blooming with ample root fertilization.

The riparium planter suction cups are inserted into the planter after it is filled to the top with substrate.

This final shot shows the planter filled with gravel substrate and with the shoot ends of the dormant bulbs barely extending above the surface. These bulbs will start new, green growth soon after placement in the warm aquarium water.

White Rain Lily (Z. candida) is probably the most common species sold in the gardening trade. It is usually sold as a pond plant. You might also find it for sale as an aquarium plant. The shoots can last for a very long time underwater, but it is not a true submerged aquatic and it will not bloom if planted in this way.

All kinds of Rain Lilies have rather sparse, onion-like leaves, so they should be combined with other riparium plants having more attractive foliage.

While White Rain Lily is very easy to find for sale, but I have found that some of the pink species are easier to bloom. Here is riparium layout with Zephyranthes macrosiphon. These bulbs bloomed several times with beautiful pink blossoms.

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