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Tricyrtis Cultivation Instructions

Toad lilies (members of the genus Tricyrtis) are hardy perennials native to ravines and woodland edges in India, China, Japan, and other parts of Asia. In nature they grow amid tall grass, but in the garden they form well-behaved clumps, largely untroubled by disease or pests. They can be found beginning to bloom in about mid-September or October, depending on the cultivar and the weather, and keep it up for three or four weeks or until they are wilted by frost.

Toad lilies need soil that is rich in organic matter, part- to full shade and consistent moisture. The plants need no staking or deadheading. In good light, organically rich soil, they need no fertilizing. A layer of mulch will help keep the soil steadily moist, although it should not be piled against the stems. Toad lilies are easy to multiply by division: A clump can be split in spring and be ready to bloom by late summer. 

All the shade standards are good companions for toad lilies: hostas, ferns, Solomon's seal, sedges, brunnera, and lungwort. Or plant them among spring bulbs and ephemeral wildflowers such as Virginia bluebells. As the spring bloomers' foliage goes dormant, the toad lilies' stately stems will take over. They are particularly engaging by a path or sidewalk where you pass them every day. As the days grow short and the shade deepens, their undaunted bloom keeps spirits bright.

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