Spider Lily Hardiness
I live in Baltimore County (zone 7a), am interested in a companion plant for my agapanthus africanus (twister). I recently discovered the spider lillies (nerine, lycoris) as suggested co-planters of the same height. My top choice to plant is nerine bowdenii, but have found conflicting statements on hardiness (some say zone 7, others zone 8). It is important that I am able to leave them in the ground all year. Lycoris aurea appears to be a good substitute, but have found its Heat Zone listed as 8-10, and am uncertain about its survival. I'm confident lycoris squamigera will survive since it's the most hardy of the genus, but am hoping it isn't my only option (since it's so similar to the agapanthus). Do you know of anyone who has grown spider lillies around here with success? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated - I only want to buy/plant these once! Many Thanks,
Baltimore County Maryland
Both Agapanthus and Nerine are native to South Africa and are marginally winter hardy here. We are not aware of anyone growing them in-ground in our area, though some people may plant them in containers and keep them in a frost free place for the winter. If you have had them last reliably through the winter, perhaps you have them planted in a micro-climate/protected place in your landscape.
(I wish we could grow them! More here: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a433 )
Lycoris radiata may be a possiblility, but again we do not have personal experience growing this one: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c535
You can use the search box on that page for other plants as well.