How to Grow Sprekelia — Aztec Lily


Sprekelia — commonly called Aztec lily–bears dark crimson flowers resembling orchids above foliage that look like that of the daffodil. Spreklia blooms 6 to 8 weeks after planting. In mild climates, it may flower several time a year.

Plant Sprekelia in a sunny border. It is most effective when planted in groups. Sprekelia is also an attractive container plant. It can be grown in pots like amaryllis when repotted every 3 to 4 years.

Sprekelia is a single species genus. It is native to rocky slopes in Mexico and Guatemala. It can be grown as a perennial in regions where winters are mild. In cold winter regions, it can be grown as a potted annual.

Get to Know Sprekelia 

  • Plant type: Bulb. 
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 8 to 10. 
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 8
  • Height and width: Up to 1 foot (.3m) tall.  
  • Foliage: Straplike leaves that look like that of daffodil.  
  • Flowers: Bright red flowers have three upper segments and three lower ones rolled into a cylinder for part of their length, resembling orchids.  
  • Bloom time: Spring where hardy, summer when grown as annual.  
  • Uses: Borders where hardy, or in pots.  
  • Garden companions: Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata
  • Common name: Aztec lily, Jacobean Lily, St. James lily. 
  • Botanical name: Sprekelia
  • Family name: Amaryllidaceae 
  • Origin: Rocky slopes in Mexico and Guatemala
Sprekelia, commonly called Aztec lily or Jacobean lily
Sprekelia, commonly called Aztec lily or Jacobean lily

Where to Plant Sprekelia 

  • Plant Sprekelia in full sun.  
  • Plant Sprekelia in deep, rich soil.  

When to Plant Sprekelia 

  • Plant Sprekelia in fall. 

Planting and Spacing Sprekelia 

  • Plant Sprekelia bulbs 3-4 inches (7.6-10cm) deep and 8 inches (20.3cm) apart, with necks above soil level.  
  • Sprekelia are most effective planted in groups.  

How to Water and Feed Sprekelia 

  • Give Sprekelia regular water during growth period and bloom.  
  • Fertilize Sprekelia with an organic bloom food in spring.

How to Care for Sprekelia 

  • Where winters are cold, plant Sprekelia outdoors in spring; lift plants in fall when foliage yellows and store over winter (leave the dry tops on; do not remove them).  
  • Sprekelia grown in pots should be repotted every 3 to 4 years.  

Sprekelia Pests and Diseases 

  • Sprekelia have few disease problems. 
  • Sprekelia have few pest problems. 

Sprekelia Propagation 

  • Separate small offsets when dormant in early autumn.
  • Divide small Sprekelia bulbs after blooming.  

Sprekelia Varieties to Grow 

  • Sprekelia formosissima, often sold as Amaryllis formosissima, is a bulb native to Mexico; foliage looks like the foliage of the daffodil; stems grow to 12 inches (30cm) tall and are toped with dark crimson blooms that resemble orchids; most effective planted in groups; plants may flower several times a year in mild climates.

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