Growing Siberian Lily Plants: How To Care For Ixiolirion

Ixiolirion (ik-see-oh-LEER-ee-on) is a bulbous perennial belonging to the genus Ixiolirion and a member of the Ixioliriaceae. It was previously placed in the Amaryllidaceae family, also known as the Amaryllis family, in earlier classification systems.

The genus was first described in 1821, with its name derived from a Greek composition: Ixio- and the word lirion, which means ‘lily.’ The combination translates to  ‘Ixia-like lily.’

Growing IxiolirionPin

Ixiolirion is native to central and southwest Asia, with 3 of its species widely distributed there and extends to China (the Sinai Peninsula to Xinjiang China Province).

This bulbous perennial is prized for its lovely sword or funnel-shaped flowers above grass-like foliage with narrowly lance-shaped leaves.

Ixiolirion also goes by several common names, including:

  • Lavender Mountain Lily
  • Lily of the Altai
  • Mountain lily
  • Sky Blue Mountain Lily
  • Siberian lily
  • Tartar lily

The four species in Ixiolirion genus include:

  • Ixiolirion ferganicum  
  • Ixiolirion karateginum 
  • Ixiolirion songaricum  
  • Ixiolirion tataricum (previously known as Ixiolirion pallasii)

 Quick Facts On Ixiolirion

  • Family: Ixioliriaceae
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Temperature: 50° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water: Occasional watering
  • Fertilizer: Mineral or organomineral fertilizers
  • Propagation: Offsets or seeds
  • Common Problems: Root rot, bulb mites

Ixiolirion Care

How Big Does The Siberian Lily Grow?

Ixiolirion plants grow from 12″ to 16″ inches, spreading about 12″ inches wide.

The Siberian lily reaches its maturity after 2 to 5 years. 

When Does Siberian Lily Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

Siberian Lily blooms in late spring, usually May, and early summer with clusters of beautiful sword or funnel-shaped flowers borne from 12″ to 20″ inches of tall, slender stems.

Each Ixiolirion flower is 6-petaled with 1″ inch in diameter, and each petal is marked with a darker central line running through the middle that gives a distinct look.

The clusters of flowers range from a delicate color of light blue to dark violet, with a faint fragrance.

The slender stems grow above grass-like foliage, which dies down in summer and reappears in the following spring.

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

Ixiolirion plants grow well in full sun or partial shade locations.

When grown in full sun locations, they require exposure to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours or more daily.

In contrast, they need about 2 to 6 hours of direct sunlight, only part of the day in partial shade areas. 

Generally, they thrive in USDA Hardiness zones 5a to 9b.

The ideal temperature for Siberian lily is 50° degrees Fahrenheit but may vary based on the Hardiness zone where it’s grown.

They also cannot tolerate any temperature of 23° degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s best to bring the Siberian lily indoors when the temperature outside reaches this.

How And When To Water And Fertilize Siberian Lily?

Ixiolirions are drought tolerant but need regular watering during their active growing season.

You may also do occasional watering to prevent overwatering the Siberian lily, which could lead to root rot.

Once the temperature rises, cut back watering to allow a dry, dormant period for the bulbs.

In addition, Ixiolirions also need moisture and regular feeding during the growing season.

The ideal fertilizer application is a mineral or organomineral fertilizer, a combination of mineral fertilizer and animal manure.

What Is The Best Soil For Ixiolirion, And When Should You Transplant?

Ixiolirion thrives best when grown in gravelly, sandy, and well-drained soil.

The soil should be light with good drainage for potted plants and amended with sandy compost. 

When planting, you should bury the Ixiolirion bulbs about 5″ inches deep, with a space of about 4″ to 6″ inches per sq. ft. 

When repotting, it’s best to do it gently in October when the leaves have already withered. 

You can also use stones and gravel to improve your soil, especially if your garden bed has poor drainage.

Does Ixiolirion  Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

Pruning Siberian lily is unnecessary, but you may remove withered foliage.

How To Propagate Siberian Lily?

Siberian Lily can be propagated by two methods:

  • Offsets
  • Seeds

Ixiolirion can be taken in late summer through offset bulb propagation, but it is often difficult to get in winter.

In contrast, propagation through seeds is an easier method, and it must be done in spring. 

Here’s what you need to do when using seed propagation:

  • First, sow the seeds 3″ inches deep into the soil.
  • Then, use fertile grainy soil when planting in October and keep it moist.
  • Finally, provide cover to prevent the soil from drying out.

Remember that germination usually happens after 2 to 3 months.

It’s also important to consider using this method as seed-grown Ixiolirion usually takes up to 4 years to sprout flowers.

Ixiolirion Pests And Diseases

Ixiolirion is generally problem free but may occasionally be a target of bulb mites, which are tiny and transparent that usually attack damaged bulbs. 

You can remedy any infestation using an insecticide solution.

Another concern is root rot, which usually happens when Ixiolirion is overwatered, especially in winter.

If you notice small black spots, poor growth, and black leaf tips, your plant has root rot.

The best remedy is to discard affected Ixiolirion bulbs and use a fungicide.

Uses Of Lavender Mountain Lily

Because of its delightful clusters of funnel-shaped flowers, Lavender Mountain Lily makes an excellent decorative planting for any landscape, garden, and flower bed.

They also make excellent perennials and ground cover plants, providing a splash of the colorful display.

Lavender Mountain Lily flowers also make great cut flowers.