Crinum – unpretentious beauty

Among indoor plants and their fashionable novelties, there are more and more bulbous plants every year. They do not add to the lists of exotics and cultures for everyone, although they do not always have a difficult character. One of the most unpretentious plants is the handsome krinum, a giant that still remains unfamiliar to most flower growers. Graceful and delicate, large flowers and long leaves give the impression of a very bright exotic. But the character of the krinum is very friendly, the plant is hardy and will pleasantly please with ease of care.

Crinum moorei. Farmer CT Johansson

Krinum – bulbous, capable of surprising not only with beauty

The assortment of indoor bulbs is expanding every year and has long been not limited to only the general favorites of the hippeastrum. The growing popularity of bulbous exotic plants is not accidental: as a rule, it is difficult to compete with herbaceous soloists in the beauty of large flowers. But bulbous plants are not for everyone. Indeed, in order to achieve flowering from them, it is necessary to ensure careful control of the conditions of detention and correctly organize the resting phase.

All bulbous plants have a reputation for being difficult to care for, but not all of them. One of these exceptions is krinum, which will surprise anyone with its unpretentiousness.

Crinums (crinum) – one of the largest bulbs in indoor culture. Here they are known both as krinums, and simply as krin, and under a much more poetic popular nickname – pink lily. Crinums represent the Amaryllidaceae family and are one of the most unpretentious plants in the family. The name krinuma is associated with drooping leaves and comes from the Latin “hair”.

Crinums are unique bulbous, equally belonging to the decorative-flowering and decorative-deciduous species. The neck of the bulb is elongated upward, almost stem-shaped, in length it can reach 60-90 cm.The bulb itself is very large, up to 25 cm in diameter, it creates a very powerful root network, most often located almost on the surface (the roots can crawl out, which creates a deceptive feeling lack of substrate).

From the pseudostem, the plant produces a beautiful bunch or umbrella of leaves. Lanceolate-linear, long, belt-like, they droop beautifully, creating a kind of green hair effect. The length of the krinum leaves is not limited to 1 m. Young leaves are rolled up into beautiful tubes, and not flat, like in related cultures.

The bloom of krinum lasts from spring to autumn. On large and tall peduncles, flowers up to 15 cm in diameter, collected in capitate or umbrella-shaped inflorescences, bloom, large, lily-shaped, with a beautiful white-pink color and with a light but very pleasant aroma. Large krinum seeds are tied only with artificial pollination, they contain a supply of water in the shell, sufficient for germination, are hidden in a bizarre box of fruits.

Crinum moorei
Crinum moorei. Farmer Erik Taanman

Types of krinum

In nature, the diversity of crinums is measured in hundreds of species, about 17 species are considered introduced into culture. But as a houseplant, only 3 types of crinums are common.

Crinum Moore (Crinum moorei) – the most common indoor krinum, which received the nickname “pink lily”. This is a South African bulbous bulb with a very large bulb, the diameter of which can reach 20 cm. The neck rises 40-60 cm above the soil surface and is perceived as a stem. The leaves are wavy, belt-like, autumn is beautiful, 60 to 90 cm long, with a glossy surface and a bright green color. A tall and powerful peduncle develops near the neck of the bulb, crowned with 6-10 large lily-shaped flowers, the diameter of which can reach 12 cm.

Less common:

  1. Crinum Asian (Crinum) – a plant with a more “modest” bulb, only up to 15 cm in diameter, the pseudostem of which grows up to 35 cm in length. Leaves are collected in a bunch, more than one meter, up to 10 cm wide, with a solid edge. Up to 30 leaves are usually collected in one bunch. Umbrella inflorescence contains from 20 to 50 flowers on long pedicels, with a ten-centimeter straight tube and almost the same long, thin and linear petals. The attractiveness of white flowers is given by red stamens. This krinum blooms from March to October.
  2. Krinum Yagus (Crinum divisionformerly known as the giant crinum – Crinum giganteum) Is a compact and very effective krinum with a bulb up to 10-15 cm in diameter and a short neck crowned with wide ones, up to 10 cm in width with a length of 60 to 90 cm, leaves with a wavy edge and bright veins. Peduncles up to 1 m in height are crowned with small-flowered umbrellas (from 3 to 12 flowers). Flowers are sessile, up to 20 cm in length, with an elongated tube and a bell-shaped mouth with very beautiful oval-wide petals of a snow-white color, against which white stamens are almost invisible. It blooms for a shorter period of time, usually only in summer.

Asinus Crinum (Crinum asiaticum)
Asian Crinum (Crinum asiaticum). Farmer Amada44
Crinum jagus
Crinum jagus. Farmer Valencia

Crinum care at home

The ease of growing krinums is explained, first of all, by their drought resistance. Due to the fact that the plant easily tolerates skipping watering, it can be recommended not only to experienced, but also to novice growers. Krinum does not need high air humidity, he is not afraid of fluctuations in conditions and in every sense demonstrates enviable endurance.

When placing this plant, it should be taken into account that the bulbous retains its decorative effect only in the warm season, and although it does not lose leaves, it looks sloppy and neglected in winter. In the development of the plant, there is a pronounced dormant phase, traditionally falling in the winter. At this time of year, the krinum practically does not need care, and the conditions are only partially adjusted.

Lighting for krinum

Crinums are not only light-loving, but also sun-loving. These plants are not afraid of direct rays and are best placed in the brightest place in the house. The light intensity directly determines their growth and development activity. The best locations for krinum are southern or partially southern windowsills.

During the resting phase, the krinum does not need to be moved into the shade, because it will lose all the leaves. This plant often continues to release young leaves even in winter, and with the right choice of lighting it never remains without leaves. It is advisable to adjust the intensity of the lighting: the brighter it is, the better.

This plant feels great even in full artificial supplementary lighting. With the option of growing in the depths of rooms under artificial lighting, the daylight hours for krinum should be at least 16 hours.

Comfortable temperature

Pink lilies belong to heat-loving plants, the minimum allowable temperature for them is limited to 14 degrees (for Moore’s krinum – 6 degrees). During the period of active development and flowering, krinums are quite suitable for room temperatures from 22 degrees Celsius. Plants are not afraid of heat.

It is advisable to transfer the krinums for a dormant period to a relatively cool place with an air temperature of at least 16 to 18 degrees (for Moore’s krinum, optimal indicators are from 8 to 15 degrees), but if there is no way to lower the temperature, then you can leave the krinum in room conditions, lowering the indicators as much as possible.

Unlike most indoor bulbous, krinums are not afraid of changing conditions and temperature fluctuations, drafts. They can be rearranged to a new place at the beginning of flowering (and throughout the entire flowering period), freely transferred from the room to the open air and back. In summer, the plant will feel great in the garden or on the terrace, but in this case, the crinum needs to be taught to more intense lighting gradually, first allowing it to adapt in partial shade, and then exposing it to areas with diffused lighting. When grown indoors, provide frequent ventilation.

Crinum moorei
Crinum moorei. Farmer Erik Taanman

Krinum irrigation and air humidity

Despite belonging to the bulbous, krinums require very abundant watering during active growth and flowering. Watering is carried out as soon as the top layer of the substrate dries up. After the end of flowering, the substrate is gradually dried more and more, transferring the plant in winter to rare light watering.

Reducing watering is the main (and decisive) factor in the successful wintering of a krinum. For this, watering is never completely stopped, but reduced to a minimum, very rare, maintaining only light soil moisture. The fleshy and abundant roots of krinum function all year round and need to be kept in optimum condition. When a flower arrow appears, watering is restored to the usual abundant.

Since watering is the only significant factor stimulating flowering, in krinum, the flowering time can be shifted at will, shifting the dormant phase to autumn or even summer and watering the plant very little, but preventing the leaves from wilting.

For krinum, you need to control both the softness of the water and its temperature: water these bulbs, preferably with warm water.

The plant is not sensitive to air humidity and there is no need to somehow adjust the room indicators. The only additional procedure that the krinum will need is dusting the leaves.

Top dressing for krinum

The pink lily is fed with a standard frequency of 1 every 2 weeks during the entire stage of active vegetation (from the moment the young leaves appear until the last flower withers). For this plant, it is better to use not universal mineral mixtures, but special fertilizers for flowering plants.

Crinum moorei
Crinum moorei

Pruning krinum

Pruning procedures are reduced to the removal of wilted leaves and flowers. As soon as they are completely dry, the krinum leaves can be removed from the plant, but you should not rush to clean it: let the leaf dry completely, and not just turn yellow.

Crinum transplant and substrate

It is not worth changing the containers for krinum too often. These plants can be replanted once every 1-2 years. The transplant is carried out just before the start of growth, but before the first signs of growth appear, at the end of the resting phase.

It is believed that krinum can be grown in any soil mixture, as long as it is sufficiently loose. Crinums can even be grown in ordinary garden or vegetable garden soil, they thrive in any universal substrate or special soil for amaryllis. But the better the soil mixture is, the higher its air and water permeability (and the less the risk of compaction), the better. If you are mixing the substrate yourself, take equal parts of sand, deciduous soil and humus and 2 parts of turf soil, or mix equal amounts of greenhouse soil, leaf soil, and sand.

The krinum bulb is carefully removed, all roots are freed and examined. Damaged or dry roots must be removed, as well as dry films from the bulbs. In a new container, the bulbs are placed so that about 1/3 rise above the ground. A thick layer of drainage must be laid on the bottom of the pots (expanded clay is preferred).

Containers for krinum should be selected from among the spacious ones. Crinum is not picky about materials, but very much about width. Since a large bulb grows in breadth and produces superficial roots, low, wide containers are chosen for krinum, rather than standard high ones.

Diseases and pests of krinum

Crinums are rarely damaged by pests or diseases. Most often, red burns and false shields are found on krinums. Both problems are best dealt with with systemic insecticides and fungicides. With suboptimal care and exposure to fresh air, plants can be affected by both spider mites and mealybugs.

Crinum moorei
Crinum moorei. Farmer Fred

Reproduction of krinum

This bulbous can be propagated both by separating daughter plants during transplantation, which are formed in very large quantities, and by seeds.

The seed method does not guarantee the preservation of varietal characteristics and often produces mutations and new forms. Krinum seeds are tied only after artificial pollination. Sow them superficially, on a wet substrate, covering the crops with film or glass.

When breeding from children, the flowering of krinum occurs in 2-4 years. Daughter bulbs of krinum should not be separated annually, but only at the standard transplant times, when a large number of children are formed. For non-flowering bulbs, the containers are changed annually, transferring plants from small pots with a diameter of 9 to 12 cm to pots with a large diameter (the standard increase is 3-4 cm in diameter per year).


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Anna Evans

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