Gardening

Belladonna Lily, Naked Ladies: Gorgeous Funnel-Shaped, Fragrant Pink Flowers

Belladonna Lily, Naked Ladies: Gorgeous Funnel-Shaped, Fragrant Pink Flowers

belladonna lily

Photo Compliments of Wayne van der Kuil

Amaryllis belladonna, or more commonly referred to by gardeners as belladonna lily, or sometimes naked ladies is a bulbous perennial with erect 18 inch stems. Each stem bears an umbel of gorgeous funnel-shaped, fragrant pink flowers that are 4 inches in length. Belladonna Lily brings scent and color to the garden when it is most needed. After the leaves (11 to 20 inches long, 1 inch across, and arranged in rows of two) die back in midsummer, it sends up a bare stalk topped with its fragrant pink trumpet-shaped. Belladonna lily is a drought-tolerant plant native to South Africa, great for hot dry spots in the garden. It is long blooming, attractive to butterflies, and stunning as a cut flower.

How To Make Belladonna Lily Thrive

Belladonna lily should be planted in full sun in well-drained soil. It is extremely drought tolerant once established, but will still appreciate occasional watering during dry weather. When you plant it is also the time to incorporate bulb fertilizer into the soil for healthy and vigorous growth. In zone 6 and 7 it should be planted six inches deep to protect the bulb from winter frost. Once established, it thrives on neglect and is extremely long-lived. Deadhead the leaves as they die back in early summer. The bloom spike emerges in autumn without leaves.

General Belladonna Lily Information

Disease and Pests

Chewing insects, such as caterpillars and grasshoppers, should be carefully monitored and controlled by handpicking. Aphids may spread virus diseases. Spider mites cause injury similar to that of sucking insects as they feed on the leaves of amaryllis during warm, dry periods. Bulb mites attack rotting bulbs and tunnel into healthy bulbs, transmitting organisms that produce bulb rot. Bulb mites are particularly damaging to bulbs of amaryllis. Mealy bugs damage plant foliage by sucking plant fluids and may invade stored bulbs. Some control can be obtained by frequent spraying with a hose. Amaryllis can be damaged by microscopic, transparent, wormlike animals called nematodes. Nematodes feed on the roots and may cause disintegration of the basal plate when present in sufficient numbers. Animals such as pocket gophers, rabbits and squirrels can damage belladonna lily bulbs.

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sowing them in containers in a cold frame when ripe or in the spring.  Alternatively you can remove offsets during dormancy.

Suggested Uses

Cottage or informal garden, rock gardens, flower borders and beds, or patio containers.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Botanical Name: Amaryllis belladonna
  • Common Name: Belladonna Lily or Naked Ladies
  • Foliage Type: Deciduous/bulb
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 6 to 8
  • Height: 18 inches tall
  • Width: 18 inches Wide
  • Flower Color: Pink
  • Bloom Time: Autumn
  • Bulb Spacing: 1 to 3 bulbs per square foot
  • Light Requirements: Full Sun
  • Planting Season: Spring, summer
  • Planting Depth: Plant bulb 4 inches deep, 6 inches where it is colder
  • Soil: Loamy soil
  • Soil Moisture: Average, well draining
  • Water Requirements: Occasional watering to drought tolerant once established
  • Maintenance: Requires very little attention; a fertile, well drained sandy soil is best, planted with protection from wind and in a sunny location.

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4 Comments

  1. Interesting plant, I don’t think I’ve realized it before. It would be fun to have that nice bloom in the Fall and it sounds as if it is pretty easy to grow and good for my zone.

  2. Is this something that would actually grow in Seattle? Wouldn’t be too wet here?

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