The Q&A Archives: Care of Japanese Toad Lily

Question: I purchased a Japanese Toad Lily or "Tojen" at my local nursery in the spring. It says to place it in "part shade to shade", so I put it in a spot that only gets about 3 hours of sun a day. I water it generously, and it hasn't really grown much, although it did flower just recently. It is supposed to grow to 18-24 inches, and it is still the height at which I purchased it. Also, it has these rust-colored spots all over the leaves; which I remove. It seems to help. I just want to know what I can do to make it grow and thrive.

Answer: Toadlily (Tricyrtis) does best in gentle morning sun or dappled light. It prefers a humusy soil rich in organic material and needs an evenly moist yet well drained (not soggy) soil. The ph should be slightly acid. In my experience it tends to reach its full size the year or so after planting, assuming its needs are met, and spreads slowly from year to year; if it flowered then it is not doing too badly. I am not sure what the spots on the leaves would be since this is usually a trouble free plant. Be sure to clean up, remove and destroy any fallen leaves as they happen and take away all of the stems and leaves after they are killed off by freezing this fall. This should help to reduce any reinfection next year. Finally, since these are mostly hardy only to zone 5 or 6 I would be careful to mulch well in late fall. Good luck with your plant!

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