How to Balance pH for Resurrection Lily

To ensure the optimal growth and vibrant blooms of your Resurrection Lily (Lycoris squamigera), it’s essential to maintain the soil pH within the slightly acidic to neutral range, between 6.0 and 7.0. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of testing, amending, and maintaining the pH level for your Resurrection Lily.

Soil Testing

The first step in balancing the pH for your Resurrection Lily is to test the soil’s current pH level. You can purchase a home testing kit or send a soil sample to a local extension service for professional analysis. This will provide you with the necessary information to determine the appropriate amendments needed to adjust the pH.

Amending the Soil

resurrection lilyImage source: Pixabay

Based on the soil test results, you can take the following actions to adjust the pH:

Acidic Soil (pH below 6.0)

If your soil is too acidic, you can raise the pH by adding lime, such as ground limestone or dolomitic lime. The amount of lime required will depend on the current pH level and the desired target pH. As a general guideline:

  • For slightly acidic soil (pH 5.6 to 6.0), add 2 to 4 pounds of lime per 100 square feet.
  • For moderately acidic soil (pH 5.1 to 5.5), add 4 to 6 pounds of lime per 100 square feet.
  • For strongly acidic soil (pH 4.5 to 5.0), add 6 to 8 pounds of lime per 100 square feet.

Alkaline Soil (pH above 7.0)

If your soil is too alkaline, you can lower the pH by adding elemental sulfur or a sulfur-containing product, such as aluminum sulfate or iron sulfate. The amount of sulfur required will depend on the current pH level and the desired target pH. As a general guideline:

  • For slightly alkaline soil (pH 7.6 to 7.8), add 1 to 2 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet.
  • For moderately alkaline soil (pH 7.9 to 8.4), add 5 to 10 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet.
  • For very alkaline soil (pH 8.5 or higher), add 15 to 20 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet.
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Incorporating the Amendments

Once you have determined the appropriate amendments, mix them thoroughly into the top 6 inches of soil. After applying the amendments, water the area thoroughly to help the soil absorb the changes.

Re-testing the Soil

resurrection lily 2Image source: Pixabay

After several weeks, retest the soil to ensure the pH has been adjusted to the desired range. If necessary, repeat the amendment process until the pH is within the 6.0 to 7.0 range.

Maintaining the pH

To maintain the optimal pH level for your Resurrection Lily, regularly test the soil and make adjustments as needed. Additionally, use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or a diluted liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for flowering plants. Apply the fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season to promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms.

Resurrection Lily Care Considerations

In addition to balancing the pH, consider the following care requirements for your Resurrection Lily:

  • Light: Resurrection lilies thrive in locations with full sun but will tolerate partial shade, particularly in warmer climates.
  • Soil: These plants grow best in a loamy bed with good drainage. If the soil is poor-quality, work a three-inch-thick layer of compost into the top foot of soil.
  • Water: Moderate watering is required during the growing season. However, limit watering during the dormant period in the winter months and during the period in late June when the foliage begins to die back but the blossoms haven’t appeared yet.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Resurrection lilies can be hardy but don’t tolerate extreme temperatures. They tolerate a wide range of humidity levels.
  • Fertilizer: Let the bulbs settle in for about a month before fertilizing. In the autumn, feed the plants with a high-potassium fertilizer, then provide a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in the early spring to encourage growth.
  • Pruning: Remove dead foliage and stems to keep the plant healthy.
  • Propagating: After a few years, propagate via division. Lift the bulbs carefully, divide them, and replant them at a depth of five to six inches and six inches apart.
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By following these guidelines, you can successfully balance the pH and provide the optimal growing conditions for your Resurrection Lily, ensuring vibrant and long-lasting blooms.

Reference:

  1. Spider Lily Care: How to Grow Lycoris Squamigera
  2. How to Plant and Grow Fall Blooming Spider Lilies
  3. Lycoris squamigera