Plant This: Crinum procerum

Hot-climate gardens need a water feature to counteract summer’s heat with a feeling of cool wetness. My stock-tank pond serves that purpose in my garden, plus it gives me a chance to grow a few plants that like wet feet, like this Crinum procerum ‘Splendens’.

With burgundy, almost chocolate-colored, strappy leaves, the crinum sits just under the water level and shows its appreciation for the heat by opening droopy-petaled, raspberry-ice flowers on long stems two or three times a summer. If it received full sun, I suspect it would bloom even more; it gets only partial sun in my garden.

Dragonflies love to rest on its leaves during their pond patrols.

During winter freezes, especially hard freezes, I drop my marginal (bog) pond plants, including the crinum, down to the bottom of the tank to keep them green and uninjured. Austin’s freezes are occasional and usually last only a few hours, and I pull the plants back up into the sunshine after temperatures climb above freezing. In spring, I usually divide the crinum along with my other pond plants, all of which are extremely vigorous growers. Once or twice during the growing season I feed it with a fertilizer tablet pushed down into the soil. And that’s all the maintenance it requires. Easy, huh?

All material © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

7 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    So that is what I have to look forward to. What a beauty. Mine is very healthy but no bloom in sight. However my papyrus is taking over making babies all over the place.

    That papyrus is a beast, but then many pond plants are. I hope your crinum flowers for you soon. My mom has a division from me too, in full sun, and hers always looks better than mine. —Pam

  2. Sheryl says:

    What a lovely thing! It makes me weaken my resolve to keep my pond full of edible plants.

    If you ever change your mind, Sheryl, just let me know. I’ll save you a division one spring. —Pam

  3. Katina says:

    Love the crinum. almost enough to try approaching my husband about having a water feature again…

    I can’t believe he’s not convinced yet, Katina. ;-) —Pam

  4. Ally says:

    My division from your mother plant is doing great. No flowers yet, but I would grow it just for the foliage; it’s such a stand out. I potted it up in a pretty green pot, which really shows off that burgundy foliage. I’ll start watching for some blooms.

    Are you growing it outside of a pond then, Ally? How often does it like to be watered in that situation? —Pam

  5. I’d love a water feature but I could not keep critters out of it, including the Border Collies. But that pink flower would be one I’d include. Also liking that blue door, Pam! Wondering if gardening tools are stored inside… :)

    No, only the pool mechanicals, Kathryn. It’s a faux shed (only 3-sided) to disguise the ugly pump! Those blue “doors” are not operable, just made to look like it. —Pam

  6. What a great accent plant. It would work in my driveway water garden — if only it could take a long deep winter freeze!

    I wonder, Linda. I lost it during a cold snap one year when I left it above the water level, and ended up buying another one the next spring. But maybe it was a fluke? —Pam

  7. I am really impressed with Crinum procerum ‘Splendens’. I am helping a friend transform his landscape and I think this will add some real panache to his pond. Thank you for the suggestion.

    My pleasure, Charlie. Have fun with the garden transformation! —Pam