Home generalCrown of Glory, Gloriosa rothschildiana / superba - care and wintering

Crown of Glory, Gloriosa rothschildiana / superba - care and wintering

  • Characteristics
  • Location
  • Soil / Substrate
  • plants
    • trellis
    • bucket Culture
  • maintenance
    • to water
    • Fertilize
    • repotting
    • To cut
    • toxicity
  • overwinter
  • multiply
  • Diseases

The glory crown (Gloriosa superba), also known as Flame Lily or Prachtlilie, is a sought after exotic perennial. With its bright red, lily-like flowers with yellow hem, the perennial shrub is an extraordinary eye-catcher. It originates from the subtropical regions of West Asia and Africa. In the fall, the perennial retreats into its underground storage organs, to drive out again after a period of rest in the coming year. Unfortunately, the vine does not tolerate cool temperatures.


  • botanical name: Gloriosa superba (formerly Gloriosa rothschildiana)
  • Genus: Gloriosa
  • belongs to the plant family of the timeless plants (Colchicaceae)
  • Common names: Glory Crown, Glory Lily, Climbing Lily, Flame Lily
  • perennial, herbaceous vine
  • Growth height: 1.5 to 2 m
  • Leaves: shiny green, tendril-like appendage at the top
  • Flower: axillary flowers, petals turn backwards after opening
  • Flowering period: June to August
  • Fruits: egg-shaped capsule fruit with numerous seeds
  • Origin: humid forests of Asia and Africa
  • not hardy
  • very poisonus
  • not limescale tolerant


The climber with the spectacular flowers can only thrive healthy and strong if it is in an ideal location. The Gloriosa superba needs a lot of light. However, the plant does not cope well with the bright midday sun, because its leaves and flowers burn quickly in these extreme conditions. Although the crown of glory also grows in partial shade, in this case, the flowering splendor is reduced significantly.

  • Light requirement: sunny to light partial shade
  • does not tolerate noon sun
  • warm as constantly as possible
  • Temperature: 17 to 22 degrees
  • no big temperature fluctuations
  • sheltered
  • does not tolerate dry air (at least 50 to 60% humidity)
  • provide shading at south-facing location

Since the glory lily is dependent on a warm and humid climate in the growing season, it thrives optimally in greenhouses and winter gardens. However, the plant also gets along well outdoors, as far as the temperatures do not fall below 18 degrees. For copies that are on the terrace or the balcony, therefore, always a look at the weather forecast is necessary.

Soil / Substrate

The Gloriosa rothschildiana prefers a neutral, well-drained soil. Many potting soils are not suitable for growing the climbing plant, as their acidity is too high (pH below 6.5). Therefore, pay close attention to the information on the packaging. In addition, the substrate should be well drained of water to prevent waterlogging . Nutritious, humus rich soil with sand is ideal.

  • humous
  • permeable to water
  • nutritious
  • pH value: around 7 (neutral)
  • Buy special container potting soil with appropriate pH

If it is not clear what the substrate or soil pH is, you should check it using test strips. Test strips or pH soil tests are available in the pharmacy as well as in the garden center.


Usually, the crown of glory is commercially available in the form of elongated root tubers (rhizomes). The plant forms underground, finger-thick storage organs, similar to the tubers of dahlias or other perennials. In these tubers the perennial climbing plant outlasts unfavorable climatic conditions. For a vigorous young plant to emerge in spring, these rhizomes must be flat - ie parallel to the ground - and not vertically planted. You can either prefer the storage organs in the house or plant them directly into the field after the last frosts in mid-May.

  • Time for pre-breeding in the house: March to April
  • plant directly in the field: from mid-May
  • gently transplant (lying)
  • Rhizomes break easily
  • Planting depth: about 3 cm
  • Wear gloves (the tuber is poisonous)
  • Temperature: around 22 degrees
  • high humidity

Already at the planting you can create optimal conditions for a healthy prosperity. Make sure that you use a suitable substrate to allow Gloriosa superba to grow vigorously and develop full flower power soon after planting. If the expulsion of an eye is already recognizable on the storage organ, this side is planted slightly raised. Best offer the plant right from the beginning to a suitable trellis.

The rooting takes a few weeks, so it is a little patience asked. In the meantime, it is necessary to keep the soil slightly moist. Before the first shoots show up, first of all the roots must have grown sufficiently into the soil. Show first shoot tips above the earth, the plant wins every day to the ten centimeters growth height added. From the middle of May onwards, the plant can be placed in a bright spot on the balcony, the terrace or in the garden. Make sure you get used to the glory crown slowly to the sun. For the first two weeks she should better be in a partially shaded place.


The crown of glory is happy about a climbing aid, where she can climb the sun. If she has no way to wind up, she simply grows on the ground at ground level or the shoots hang down the side of the pot. A climbing aid does not have to be very expensive. You can tie the shoots simply to a grid or even grow up on a piece of chain link fence on a downpipe or a pergola. While the young tendrils still have to be guided to the bars, an established plant usually finds its way up without help.

bucket Culture

As a rule, the climbing lily is cultivated with us as a container plant and pulled in the apartment or a conservatory. In summer, when the temperatures are permanently over 18 degrees, the plant may also be placed on a protected, sunny place on the balcony or terrace. If it gets cold at night, the magnificent lily must be temporarily moved to the apartment, as it is very sensitive to cold and strong temperature fluctuations.

  • use sturdy pot of terracotta or stone
  • must contain drainage holes on the bottom
  • Diameter: at least 50 to 60 cm
  • choose flat coasters instead of planters
  • Trellis (grid) offer


If the Gloriosa rothschildiana has an optimal location and suitable substrate, it will grow vigorously without great care and produce beautiful, bizarre flowers over the summer. It is only necessary to water regularly and fertilize the plant.

to water

A medium level of humidity is enough for the pretty flowering plant. The substrate should be neither permanently wet nor permanently dry. Casting is always done when the top layer of the root ball is already slightly dry. With the onset of autumn, when the flowers and foliage slowly wither, the waterings are also stopped until the spring.

  • pour only with room-warm water
  • best with lime-poor water
  • ideal is stale rainwater


If the crown of glory has been planted in fresh, nutrient-rich soil as a rhizome in spring, it does not need to be fertilized in the first time. It is recommended to administer a long-term fertilizer after about four weeks, which supplies the plant with nutrients throughout the entire growing season. Alternatively, it is also possible to dose a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants on the irrigation water. This is necessary about every two weeks.


The perfect time to repot is spring, just before the crown of glory awakes from its hibernation again. Get the dormant rhizomes out of the ground or their winter quarters and remove all diseased and dead parts. As a rule, the old, withered tuber from the previous year has formed numerous new rhizomes, which can now be removed and planted in fresh substrate. At the same time, of course, the Gloriosa superba can also be propagated. Be sure to wear gloves when working on the tuber because the crown of fame is very poisonous, so skin contact with leaking plant juices must be avoided at all costs.

To cut

In principle, you should cut the climbing lily during the growing season only if it gets too big. Otherwise, in the fall, when the foliage is withered, a radical cut is necessary, which is carried out shortly above ground level. With the pruning in the fall, wait until the shoots start to die by themselves. Cut off the still green tendrils, it may be that the crown of glory can not store enough nutrients in the rhizomes to expire again next year.


The Gloriosa superba (Gloriosa rothschildiana) contains alkaloids such as colchicine, which is also found in the autumnal timeless. All plant parts, especially the tuber of the glory crown, are therefore highly poisonous . Especially in their homeland, there are occasional fatal poisonings with the plant tuber. First symptoms appear after about two to six hours. In addition to burning in the mouth and throat it comes to severe gastrointestinal complaints with some bloody diarrhea, temperature drops and sweating, cramps, paralysis and circulatory collapse. In severe poisoning occurs respiratory paralysis. Special danger exists for:

  • small children
  • Pets
  • Pregnant women (toxins are mutagenic)

Immediately get used to touching and cutting the magnificent lily only with gloves so that you do not accidentally come into contact with the plant juices. And dispose of the cut in household waste as far as possible.


After flowering, the Gloriosa rothschildiana takes a break and retreats into the subterranean parts of the plant in the fall. If the plant starts to wither, it will not be watered anymore. Foliage and shoots die and can be cut off. Plants that have been planted outdoors in the spring must be carefully excavated. The rhizomes of potted plants can be overwintered in the pot. To keep the excavated tubers from drying excessively over the winter, place them (like dahlias) in a box of sand. Fouled or damaged parts must be cut off and the interface disinfected (with charcoal powder).

  • Temperature: 10 to 15 degrees
  • dark
  • do not pour
  • do not fertilize

In early spring, bring the crown of fame back to the warm room, plant it in fresh substrate and pour it back on gently. After a short time, the plant will start again.


As a rule, the crown of glory is increased by its elongated rhizomes. The plant, planted in the spring, survives only one year, but forms new rhizomes in summer, which are stored over the winter. From March, the finger-thick tubers can then be used for the cultivation of the new generation of glory crowns.


Even from seeds glory crowns can be propagated. Sowing the tropical plant is not for beginners, as they are very sensitive - especially to germs. You need the following items:

  • Greenhouse
  • alternatively planter or cultivation pots
  • transparent cover
  • Cactus soil, seed soil

The most important factor in sowing is that all utensils (including the seeds) are germ-free . Planters can either be sterilized with hot water or in the dishwasher, the substrate should be heated in the microwave for a few minutes to kill all germs. Since the seeds themselves may already be infected with fungi and bacteria, their shells must also be disinfected. As heat also destroys the seed, it is soaked for 24 hours in a dark, sealable vessel in a mixture of boiled (and chilled) water and hydrogen peroxide (10 ml peroxide plus 100 ml water). Then the seeds are placed on the moistened substrate with a clean wooden spatula and covered with substrate.

  • Cover (cover, glass plate, freezer bag)
  • Temperature: 20 to 25 degrees
  • bright but without direct sun
  • keep it evenly moist
  • air occasionally
  • Germination time: 6 weeks (sometimes longer)
  • only pique after the formation of at least four to six leaves


Overall, the crown of glory is one of the sturdy plants that rarely fall ill - provided they are optimally cared for. Incorrect site and soil conditions as well as various care mistakes can lead to the plant only growing insufficiently, getting brown leaves or being attacked by pests.


Aphids increasingly occur when the plant is too cool or in the drafts. If the pests are rinsed off with the shower and the affected shoots are cut off, the plant usually recovers soon. In addition, the humidity should be increased.

Plant does not bloom

If there are still no flowers in the axils of the leaves until the end of June, something is wrong. The plant is very easy to care for. If it does not bloom, it can have a variety of causes:

  • too little light
  • is in the blazing midday sun (flower buds get a sunburn and dry up)
  • too much nitrogen in the soil (only leaves will form and the plant will not bloom)

If the shoots are cut back too early in the autumn, the crown of glory can not store enough nutrients in the newly formed rhizomes. In the coming spring, the plant then sprouts new and forms shoots and leaves, but it does not bloom, because you simply lack the power to do so. Therefore, the foliage may only be cut off when it is already clearly withered.

Brown leaves

Strong temperature fluctuations lead to cold or heat stress in the Gloriosa rothschildiana. This is expressed by yellow, withered leaves. If the temperatures have dropped too much, the leaves become flabby and yellow, sometimes slightly transparent. Plants that have been exposed to the blazing midday sun, get a sunburn and the foliage turns silvery to brown and dried up. Brown leaf tips, however, indicate a lack of water or too low humidity.

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