Zephyranthes is a bulbous perennial that came to us from America, where it grows in abundance on both continents in subtropical conditions. In the people it is often called “rain lily” or more prosaically – “upstart” for the ability to very quickly, almost in one day, throw out a peduncle and bloom flowers. In a warm climate, zephyranthes can also be planted in open ground, in central Europa it is used as a plant for cultivation at home. For all its decorativeness, it belongs to flower indoor crops that are easy to plant and care for.

General description with photo

Zephyranthes is a member of the Amaryllis family. The root system is bulbous, the bulb itself is small, usually does not exceed 3.5 cm in diameter, has an ovoid elongated, less often round shape. Also, her neck can be both shortened and long. The top of the bulb is covered with scales. Leaf plates in most varieties are narrow, lanceolate, can reach 40 cm in length, less often – hollow, tubular in shape. The peduncle, which grows up to 30 cm literally before our eyes in conditions of the necessary humidity, bears single large crocus-shaped buds, painted in snow-white or in pure pink, yellow or red tones. In one instance, several peduncles are thrown out at the same time, so it looks very festive and bright during the flowering period.

The zephyranthes bulb is poisonous, including for pests, so they usually “bypass” it.

Varieties of zephyranthes with a photo

Biologists have described about nine dozen species of this plant, of which only a tenth is suitable for planting at home. Consider the most common of them.

The white petals of the buds have a pointed shape and grow on arrows growing up to 20 cm. Flowers begin to bloom closer to mid-July, flowering is long, until mid-autumn. The bulb has a rounded shape and a standard 3 cm diameter.

Zephyrantes atamassky

Another white variety, but with a much earlier flowering period. The first flowers open in March. But this species blooms for only two months. The bulbs are medium-sized, 2 cm each, have an ovoid shape. The narrow and long leaves are painted in rich dark green.

Robust zephyr

The second name of the variety is powerful. It grows in Brazil and Argentina. It blooms in a delicate light pink tone, medium-sized flowers, bloom from April to early July. The bulb is large for its culture, reaches 4 cm, and the plant itself is larger in size compared to other species.

Varieties of zephyranthes

Zephyranthes golden

If you have several varieties of “upstart” at home, then you can achieve their almost continuous flowering. In particular, this specimen will decorate the home interior with its pale yellow flowers in the first two months of winter. He does not like heat, in the house he needs to take the coolest places.

Zephyranthes grandiflorum

A variety with a pronounced period of winter dormancy, in which it requires a special care regimen. From autumn to February, the flower is practically not watered, the aerial part is cut off and cleaned in a cold dark room (this can be a cellar or a refrigerator). Can be stored separately dug bulb. Flowering occurs in April, the petals of the buds are more rounded than in previous varieties, rich pink. Sheet plates have a grooved shape.

Zephyranthes multicolored

An interesting type of plant, characterized in that it first releases flower stalks, and only then opens the leaves. The second difference is the two-tone color of the buds – they are snow-white on top, and closer to the throat they are red with a transition to green on both sides. It blooms in the middle of winter and also requires a cool content.

Varieties of zephyranthes with a photo

Zephyranthes takes its name from two well-known Greek words – “zephyr” (westerly wind) and “anthos” (flower).

It is the wind that carries its air currents from the west that is the harbinger of the rains that this plant loves so much.

Home Care

There are no difficulties in caring for zephyranthes if you know its requirements and do not try to dictate your own rules to it. As you know, what is good for one culture is ruinous for another, so the basic conditions of agricultural technology must be known and observed even for the most unpretentious crops. We will analyze them point by point, and at the same time we will find out for what reasons a fairly common problem with this plant arises – yellowing of the leaves.


Since this flower is a resident of the subtropics, it needs a lot of light, but it does not have to be open at all, since zephyranthes does not belong to the plants of the upper tier. In direct sunlight, it will grow and bloom, but the buds may wither much faster. The very name of the flower suggests that western windows are best suited for it, it will feel good on the eastern windowsill, but it’s better not to put it on the south side. In this case, he will feel great next to the window behind a light curtain on a stand.

In summer, a pot with a lily can be taken out into the street and placed in a light openwork shade of rare crowns of other plants or on a loggia. In winter, the plant is undemanding to light.


Irrigation rules vary with the season, but overall moisture requirements are considered moderate. In the phase of active growth, the earth should not dry out, but stagnant water should not be allowed. With the onset of the dormant phase, watering is reduced to maintenance, with the exception of varieties that bloom in winter. Immediately after flowering, whenever it occurs, the plant must rest, and reducing the watering regimen is one of the conditions for this rest. However, both its decrease and increase before the next active season should be gradual, without creating stressful situations.


Humidification and spraying are important care items for zephyranthes. In the summer, this should be done at least daily. The species that bloom in winter also need this, due to the presence of air-drying heating devices in the room. If the plant is forced to stand next to the radiator, it is advisable to periodically throw a wet towel on it, this will also benefit the residents of the apartment.

Top dressing

Everything is traditional with this care item. During the active phase before and during flowering, it is recommended to feed the flower with complex fertilizers intended for bulbous plants.

What to do if the leaves turn yellow?

The usual reaction of inexperienced growers at the sight of yellowing leaves is to increase the volume and intensity of watering. This problem not only cannot be solved but can also be exacerbated. It is important to establish the cause of the violation, but it can be completely different – for example, lack of light, heat, or the same overflow in conditions of too cold air.

Temperature regime

Despite the tropical origin, the flower does not like too hot content. During the most active period of growth, the maximum allowable room temperature will be + 25C. If it is cooler, then it will only benefit. It would be great if it were possible to provide Zephyranthes with a temperature regime in the range of + 10 … + 14C, but, alas, this is usually impossible at home, especially in summer. In the cold season, the flower can be taken out to an unheated room, but it should be remembered that the lower permissible limit is the thermometer reading + 5C.

It is important to remember that zephyranthes tolerates cold conditions much better than hot ones.

Ground mix requirements

The main requirement for the soil is its friability. If it is not possible to buy a ready-made soil mixture for bulbs, you can take equal parts of sand, humus and garden leaf soil.

Zephyranthes transplant

The transplant rules are simple, but it is not recommended to break them. Transplantation is done annually after the specimen finishes flowering and recovers a little after that. If the bulb at rest is stored separately, the time of its planting is determined by the beginning of a new active phase. But it is impossible to delay this, so that the plant has time to get used to flowering.

Since the bulb grows slowly, and in adulthood it is small in size, it is not always necessary to increase the volume of the pot. The purpose of the transplant is to replace the soil substrate and seat the children, if necessary. The best container is a low ceramic pot. It is permissible and even desirable to plant several bulbs in one pot – flowering will be more lush and spectacular. A prerequisite for landing is the arrangement of a drainage buffer. When planting, the zephyranthes bulb is not completely buried, approximately 1/3 of its height remains above the soil surface.

Basic transplant rules

  • The best time for the procedure is a month after flowering, but before entering the dormant phase. Unacceptable period for transplantation: just before flowering, during flowering and immediately after it.
  • A separate container for each bulb is not required, this will reduce the decorative qualities. It is allowed to plant even 10 pieces in one pot, flowering in this case will look especially rich.
  • The pot is selected exactly in size (about 3 cm to the edge of the container from the extreme bulb). The use of dishes “for growth” is not allowed.
  • Drainage is a must!
  • If a suitable soil mix for tropical bulbous crops is not available, the addition of sand for loosening will almost always be appropriate.
  • When separating onion-children, antiseptic treatment of damaged areas with chalk, brilliant green or coal is necessary.
  • Watering young planted onions should be done with extreme caution, because they are more prone to decay than others.

Common Transplant Mistakes

The most common mistake is the wrong choice of landing capacity. Either it’s too big or too tight. The first case is the most common answer to an equally common question: why does the zephyranthes not bloom. Because it needs light stress for flowering, which is achieved by moderate tightness of the flower pot. The critical lack of space for development is an equally negative factor, due to which the plant not only does not bloom, but may begin to turn yellow and die. Other errors in planting zephyranthes are excessive deepening of the bulbs, their physical damage due to careless handling, and unsuitable soil.

Rest period

In the description of caring for zephyranthes, it was repeatedly mentioned that the plant has a dormant period, which is especially pronounced in some of its varieties. If you do not give him a rest and gain strength, he will continue to grow, but his appearance will be poor – the flower will look tortured, and its buds will begin to shrink and soon will not appear at all. If signs of malaise are noticed, it may be enough to give the zephyranthes peace – put it in a cool place, reduce watering, and sometimes temporarily stop it altogether.

Dried leaves and buds must be removed in a timely manner for sanitary purposes.


For this culture, the issue of reproduction is solved very simply, for this it is enough to separate the daughter bulbs during transplantation. Each adult bulb can produce up to 15 babies annually, which are easily separated and just as easily take root in a new place.

For those who pay special attention to the energy of flowers, it will be interesting to know that, according to the science of Feng Shui, zephyranthes gives positive energy aimed at balancing and harmonizing relationships in a couple and in the family as a whole. However, the “upstart” would not be such if it did everything according to plan and evenly. The intensity of the impact of this flower on others is heterogeneous and directly depends on the vegetative phase of growth. Immediately after waking up, zephyranthes most actively influences the household, prompting them to take action, suppressing uncertainty and any psychological complexes. After the beginning of flowering, passions weaken and the house is filled with the energy of tenderness and love. And after the buds have withered, and the flower has fallen into a dormant phase, its effect is neutralized at best, but it can also cause bouts of laziness and unwillingness to be active and take care of the house.

Each bud of “rain lily” lives no more than 2 days, but due to the numerous peduncles and several bulbs, it allows you to admire its gorgeous flowering for a long period.


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