Nerine is a capricious and beautiful nymph brought to Europe from tropical latitudes. It is a decorative flowering bulbous perennial that grows wild in the South African tropics. For planting in open ground conditions in regions with severe winters, nerine is suitable only if it is provided with a warm indoor winter. It can be grown at home or as a tub plant, which is taken out into the garden during the warm season and dug in on the site. For bizarre flowers with thin wavy petals, nerine received the name “spider lily”, although some other types of lilies that are not related to this genus have the same name.

General description with photo

Nerine is a representative of the Amarylis family, growing in the tropical regions of the equatorial belt. The leaf socket is low, located at the very base of the bush. A characteristic feature of the plant is that after a dormant period, a tall peduncle with amazing thin-petal lilies is first thrown out of the bulb, and already in the midst of flowering, narrow and pointed leaves begin to grow, however, the timing may shift depending on the variety. The root system is represented by a bulb, which, as it grows, begins to protrude more and more from the ground, and always rises above the ground level. The peduncle itself is naked, leafless, reaching half a meter in length in especially developed specimens.

At its top, up to 12 (and in some species up to 20) flowers bloom, shaped like a lily. The petals are very thin, long, curved, wavy, which is why the appearance of the flower resembles a spider with long legs. The color of the inflorescences can vary from white and pink to deep purple, it can also be orange or red, sometimes with different colored color stripes. At home, the peduncle and foliage most often grow at the same time.

Flowering of all types of nerine usually occurs in autumn, at the beginning of the season, and lasts for 2 months.

Varieties of nerine with a photo

About three dozen basic perennial varieties have been described. Those of them that are grown in European culture do not have cardinal differences in terms of care or thermophilicity.

Nerine Bowden

South African plant with 5 cm adult bulbs, covered on the outside with shiny brownish dry scales. Elongated leaves grow out of the sheath, which simultaneously forms a tall false stem-peduncle. Closer to the top, the leaves are slightly narrowed, have an unexpressed groove along the entire length. With a length of 30 cm, their width is no more than 2.5 cm. The leaf plate is smooth, veined. A tall peduncle gives one bract, which gradually acquires a pink color as it blooms. Each inflorescence bears 10-12 pink buds with a darker contrasting stripe.

Nerine sinuous

Also grown indoors, but quite a rare species with a bulb not exceeding 4 cm in diameter. The peduncle is very tall. In nature, it can reach 90 cm. Simultaneously with the opening buds of pale pink or white, up to seven narrow and long leaves appear simultaneously from the bulb. The flowers are bell-shaped.

Nerine Bowden, winding

Nerine curved

The bulb is larger, up to 6 cm, ovoid. It is distinguished from other varieties by a more voluminous leaf rosette with an increased number of leaves. In length, they can reach half a meter. The inflorescence is painted in a scarlet tone. The petals are long, shiny, twisted, long stamens are located in the center of the corolla.

Nerine Sarney

The homeland of the species is the Cape province of the South African continent. Often grown as a houseplant. Bulb of medium size, elongated shape. Leaf plates are almost straight, no more than 30 cm. The forcing of leaves is late, they begin to grow almost after flowering has ended. The inflorescence is multicolor, up to 20 buds of rich cherry color can bloom on one specimen, their size is smaller than that of other varieties. There are three most popular varieties of this variety.

  • Sarney corusca. Inflorescences of large size, scarlet, elongated leaves marked with a dark stripe in the center.
  • Plantini Baker. It has a peduncle longer than usual, blooms in red-brown or cherry color, the petals are long, needle-like.
  • Wenasta Baker. An early flowering cultivar with small flowers. The petals are slightly curved, sickle-shaped.

Nerine low

Another variety suitable for growing as an indoor flower at home. Peduncles no higher than 30 cm, dark foliage, emerges from the bulb and begins its growth from the very beginning of flowering. The flowers are medium in size, numerous, their color can be pale pink or red. Petals wavy, wrinkled.

Important! All parts of nerine are poisonous and pose a danger to humans and animals. When working with a plant, it is necessary to provide the necessary protection and work with gloves. Place the flower in a place inaccessible to children and pets.

Planting, breeding

Nerine can be propagated in two ways – by seed and with the help of bulbs. Outdoor cultivation is available, but with the obligatory transfer of bulbs for the winter indoors. Wintering in the open ground for nerine is possible only in the southern regions, for example, on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus.

Seed method of growing nerine

The method is troublesome, time consuming and requires a certain amount of experience, so it can hardly be recommended to inexperienced flower growers. Seeds are sown in a mixture of sand and vermiculite with embedding in the ground or surface, followed by the arrangement of a mini-greenhouse. The optimum temperature for the period of seed germination is about + 22C. With the advent of the first seedlings, the film is removed, and the temperature is lowered by about 2-4 degrees. As soon as the sprouts get stronger, they must be transferred to the soil mixture recommended for growing adult specimens.

Growing from a bulb

An easier and faster way. Young bulbs are laid out vertically in a bowl half-filled with soil, and sprinkled in such a way that some of the bulbs remain in the air. The soil mixture is moistened once during planting, after which, until the very first sprouts appear from the bulbous sheath, watering is no longer done.

When planting with seeds, the first phase of dormancy occurs only in the third year of the flower’s life; with bulbous reproduction, the plant hibernates in the first year.

Nerine transplant

In the absence of an urgent need (illness, fall, etc.), a planned transplant is carried out after 4-5 years. Due to the special life cycle of nerine, it should not be done in the spring, as usual, at the end of summer, by the time the plant is ready to come out of dormancy. It is recommended to use ready-made soil for decorative flowering indoor crops. If it is compiled manually, then preference should be given to a sand-humus mixture with the addition of soddy soil. A drainage layer is necessarily provided at the bottom of the pot.

Nerine care at home

The agrotechnics of the heat-loving exotic is dictated by the conditions of its natural growth and the peculiarities of the alternation of life cycles, which are different from most bulbous plants. After the end of flowering, the flower does not immediately fall into hibernation, its leaves continue to grow, and sometimes only at this time they just begin to develop. This continues until spring, when it becomes noticeable that the nerine is about to plunge into a dormant phase. By the end of spring, the leaves die off, and the bulb falls into a dormant state that lasts until the end of summer. From this moment, you need to take measures for a proper rest of the bulb, stop watering it, feed it and lower the temperature of the content. If possible, it is better to put the pot in a cool and dark, but not damp place. Ideally, the temperature for this period should be within + 8 … + 10C. In summer, such conditions can be provided in the cellar. In winter, the plant needs more light than the weakly active sun at this time of the year can give, so you will need to take care of additional lighting.

A sign of the awakening of the bulb is a change in its color, it will begin to acquire a bronze hue.


Nerine needs to be watered quite often, but moderately, since the bulb consumes a lot of moisture during the period of active growth, but at the same time it rots very easily if it grows in constantly wet soil. The maximum amount of moisture consumed occurs at the beginning of autumn, during the forcing of the peduncle. The condition of the leaves (if there are any at the moment) will indicate the correctness of watering. Yellowing and drying of the leaves outside the holiday season means that the watering regimen is not followed correctly. Moreover, this does not necessarily indicate a lack of moisture, since its excess content in the soil can lead to exactly the same consequences.

By the beginning of spring, watering should become more rare and scarce, and then they can be stopped until the end of August.

It is advisable to replace the topsoil by the beginning of the new growing season. But you can’t fill the bulb “with your head” with soil!

Top dressing

As fertilizers, complex mineral compositions of universal application for indoor flowering crops are used. During the budding period, top dressing is carried out every 2-3 weeks, in winter, a single application every month is enough, after which fertilizers are not required at all and will even be harmful.

Air humidity

With all the love of the “spider lily” for light soil moisture, the air for growing nerine at home must be dry. No trays with water or other humidifiers should be placed next to it.

The transition to the active state should be accompanied by a gradual change in conditions. You can’t get a pot with an onion ready for awakening from the basement and immediately put it on the window. Both the increase in temperature and the increase in watering should be gradual.

If the nerine has overwintered at too high a temperature, it may not bloom, and this is at best. Sometimes it can bloom ahead of time, immediately after which it will die.

Diseases and pests

Viral diseases practically do not affect this flowering perennial, but it often suffers from care errors. In addition, nerine is susceptible to mealybug attack. These are tiny whitish pests that feed on the vital juices of plants. A sign of damage is the appearance of traces of black mold on the leaf plates, however, this stage is already considered to be running. Before processing with an insecticidal preparation, it is necessary to manually wipe the leaves of the plant with a damp sponge or paper towel lightly soaped with laundry soap.

In addition to the mealybug, the nerine flower can be chosen by aphids, especially in the garden. The lesion tends to spread rapidly and requires surgical intervention. In the initial stage, you can get by with the use of a soap solution, but if a lot of aphids are found, spraying with chemical compounds is recommended.

Leaves of the plant should not be removed. It is necessary to wait until they fall off on their own, because up to this point they are still giving their life force to the bulb to feed it during rest.


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