Q: I have 6 crinum lilly plants that have been in the ground 7 or 8 years. Only 2 of them have ever bloomed. Two weeks ago in the 95+ temp. heat some of the leaves got sun burned ( bleached out looking ). Unfortunately they get mid day and afternoon sun as the house faces West. I see other crinums around town blooming now, why don’t mine bloom?
A: Crinums often take years to start blooming, until the bulbs are as big a footballs. So your experience isn’t all that unusual. Once they achieve bloom-size, they’re very responsive to rain, often coming into bloom a week or two after a heavy rain. (My milk-and-wine lily is blooming now, two weeks after the last big rain.) You could try soaking them well and see if that makes a difference. As for the burned leaves, the soil probably got really dry during the hot spell. Don’t worry — established crinums are tough. They’d probably survive a nuclear blast.