We began growing sacred lilies back in the 1970s, when few people in the US, outside of a handful of fanatic collectors were growing them. The only large scale grower of the green species, Rohdea japonica, was our friends, the late Sam and Carleen Jones of Georgia’s Piccadilly Farms. Despite being very easy to grow, Rohdeas will never be found at most nurseries or garden centers, due to the long production time from both seed and divisions.
We worked for years (pre-Internet and email) to establish contacts in Japan who were willing to sell and ship rohdeas to the US. In Japan, variegated cultivars of rohdeas are highly prized for what most folks think are subtle differences. Most Japanese gardeners grow rohdeas in special decorative ceramic pots as house or patio plants. For many of the nice, variegated rohdea varieties, costs in Japan range from $50 to several hundred dollars, and several thousand dollars each for the special, slow-growing forms.
Some rohdeas multiply reasonably well, while others are ridiculously slow to offset. After several decades, we are finally able to share more of our extensive rohdea collection, although none in large quantities. We have recently added several cultivars to our on-line offerings, with a few more slated for spring.
Think of rohdeas as evergreen hostas…shade lovers that are reasonably drought tolerant, but thrive in slightly moist woodland garden sites. Although rohdea flowers are barely noticable, the large stalks of bright red berries are a lovely highlight starting in late fall and continuing all winter.r
In the ground, rohdeas are winter hardy in Zones 6a-10b. We hope you enjoy adding a few of these very special evergreen perennials to either your woodland garden or collection of patio containers. If you decide to take the rohdea collecting plunge with us, there is a even a Rohdea Facebook group…come join us on-line.