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How to grow gloriosa


The climbing glory lily, Gloriosa rothschildiana is an ideal choice for growing in a warm conservatory, where it will scramble up support canes or wires to a height of around 1.2m. An exotic summer-flowering plant, the glory lily requires warm growing conditions to encourage the tubers to develop roots. Plant them in pots and keep them in a heated greenhouse or propagator.

Before planting, study each tuber closely to see which end has a shoot growing out from the tip. These shoots are the plant's leaves, so should be facing upwards. If no shoots are visible, plant the tubers horizontally in trays and transplant later when you know which end the shoots are growing from.

How to do it


Place the tubers in a large, deep pot and fill with compost so the shoot tips lie a few centimetres below the surface. Each tuber produces a single shoot, so plant several in each pot.


Stand the pot in a warm spot, such as in a heated greenhouse or on a heated propagator, and keep the compost moist.


When upright, leafy shoots form, tie them to supports. The leaf tips have hooked ends that will attach to things, but don't rely on these as the only means of support. The shoots will branch out and produce spectacular flowers in midsummer.

Our tip

Try planting other exotic summer-flowering plants, like eucomis, tiger flower and calla lily

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to grow gloriosa
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Julie F 26/09/2012 at 20:58

A friend has given me this plant for a present a couple of weeks ago. Does this plant die back in winter and lose it's leaves?

Gary Hobson 27/09/2012 at 06:22

Julie F wrote (see)
 Does this plant die back in winter and lose it's leaves?

Probably, yes.

I have tried growing this plant a couple of times. The first time I grew this plant I was thrilled with it, but failed to overwinter it. I'm trying again this year.

It can be grown in the garden, or as a house plant.

If grown in the garden then I understand that it should be treated in a roughly simiar manner to dahlias. It has a similar sort of tuber which should be lifted and stored in a 'frost free' place over Winter.

It can also be grown as a houseplant. I'm not exactly sure what happens then. I aniticipate that most of the foliage will die down during the Winter.

When I tried, I tried to overwinter in a frost-free greenhouse. The tubers did not come to life in the Spring. My guess is that the greenhouse, although frost free, was far too cool. A website about growing this as a houseplant says that the minimum overwintering temperature is 60F or 16C. My frost-free greenhouse was a lot colder than that.

This year I intend to bring the tubers inside the house.

Some instructions for growing as a house plant are here:

sue ingersoll 19/07/2013 at 17:08

I've just been give some gloriosa tubers (mid July) Is it too late to plant them this year or will they keep until next spring?

Lovetogarden 20/07/2013 at 08:31

Mine has flowered and now started to die down. I don't know if it is because the weather has been too hot, we had it in the conservatory, but it was not a great success this year, not many flowers and the colour was not good..

They can be very tempremental. I have had them in the past and they have been lovely, other years they just didn't grow.

I'm no expert but if your tuber has a nodule/bud on one end give it a try, I don't think it will keep until next year, but other people may know better. Best of luck.

Averill Laing 14/07/2014 at 15:30

I bought a Gloriosa 3 years ago, marked down because it had all but finished flowering. The following year all three tubers grew giving a good show. This year only one grew, but I suspect they perhaps need feeding to build the tubers, which I did not do.

However, this year two flowers are developing seed pods, so I am now trying to find out how to grow from seed. Any ideas anyone?

The plant is in a frost-free north facing conservatory, with some low level heating in winter.

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