Schizostylis, kaffir lily: care for this elegant fall bloomer

Schizostylis, or kaffir lily, is a beautiful summer bulb

Schizostylis or kaffir lily is a superb flower with winter blooming.

Schizostylis facts, a summary

Name – Schizostylis
Family Iridaceae
Type rhizome perennial

Height 16 to 24 inches (40 to 60 cm)
full sun
rather moist

Flowering September to February

Take advantage of its cute flowers from September to mid-February.

Planting schizostylis

The most desirable season to plant schizostylis is spring, but it can also be done in fall. If the climate is mild in winter, you can also plant it a bit later.

Avoid planting your Schizostylis in summer because they would undergo stress from the heat.

Proper location and soil to plant schizostylis

Choosing the location and the quality of the soil is primordial in planting kaffir lily. That what determines the blooming and the expected growth of the plant.

  • Schizostylis loves rather moist soil but it also copes well in ordinary soil.
  • The soil must not be waterlogged, especially in winter, so adequate drainage is a good idea.
  • It is a plant that abhors excessively dry soil.
  • Full sun exposure is mandatory for blooming.

How to plant schizostylis

Proper planting ensures beautiful blooming all winter long.

  • Schizostylis is planted about 10 cm deep.
  • Space them at least 6 inches (15 cm) apart, in clusters of 4 to 5 Schizostylis.
  • Schizostylis also abhors soil that drains too much in summer, making it too dry.
  • Proper mulching will help keep the coolness in in summer.

Propagating schizostylis

Schizostylis or kaffir lily is a plant that very easily propagates through rhizome division during the entire vegetation phase.

  • Collect a rhizome, carefully bringing along the entire root system connected to the stem.
  • Plant this rhizome in a pot filled with soil mix.
  • Water regularly in order to keep the substrate moist.
  • Transplant to the ground when the root system has thickened.

Pruning and caring for schizostylis

Once properly settled in, schizostylis is a plant that has little need for care. Schizostylis even tends to propagate on its own around the mother plant.

  • Cut flowers as the wilt to spur appearance of new buds.

Watering and fertilizing schizostylis

Caring for schizostylisIf your schizostylis or kaffir lily are properly settled in rich soil that stays cool in summer, you shouldn’t need to intervene too often.

  • Water in case of dry spells or strong heat waves.
  • Fertilizing isn’t always necessary, but can be helpful during the blooming to spur the growing of the schizostylis.
  • Bulb flower fertilizer is perfectly appropriate.
  • In pots, fertilizer is often required starting from the second year you’ve been growing.

Thick mulch on the ground helps keep the soil cool and moist which helps avoid many watering sessions.

Learn more about schizostylis

Schizostylis is also called kaffir lilyNative to South Africa and thus from the Southern Hemisphere, it normally blooms in summer. But since it wasn’t able to shift its blooming pattern to fit the climates in the Northern Hemisphere, it blooms there in winter.

It thus blooms very late, in fall or even later if the weather isn’t too cold in winter.

Ideal to decorate around bodies of water in your garden, it is also perfectly suited to ordinary soil, provided that it is often watered in summer.

The name Kaffir lily comes from the fact that this admirable flower grows in the wild along brooks and wet zones in a large area of Southern Africa formerly called Kaffraria, the land of the Kaffirs.

Smart tip about schizostylis

At the end of summer, add special flower plant fertilizer to make the blooming even more beautiful and dense.

Landscaping with kaffir lily

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: Peter Stevens
CC BY-SA 2.0: Peter Hogbin, Leonora Enking, 阿橋 HQ