Amaryllis - Belladonna Lily, Naked Lady Lily
DESCRIPTION:This group consists of one deciduous plant, A. belladonna (Belladonna Lily; Naked Lady Lily), which is native to southern Africa and has been naturalized in some areas of the U.S. This plant grows from a true bulb to 2 or 3 feet high. It produces long, slender leaves in the spring, which die back in early summer. Then, in late summer, 2- to 3-foot, red tinged stalks arise each bearing up to a dozen, aromatic blossoms. The 4- to 6-inch, trumpet-shaped flowers may be white, red, rosy red, or pink and are excellent as cut flowers, lasting for about a week. *Note that Belladonna Lilies are poisonous if eaten.
POTTING: Belladonna Lilies do best in zones 6 to10. In areas where temperatures don't drop below 10º F plant them with their noses about even with the soil at about a foot apart. In colder climates, plant them deeper for protection. Plant them in any good, well-drained soil in a hot location with full sun. They are best grown among shrubs or perennials, which will hide the withering leaves in early summer, but won't shade the soil above the bulbs. Heat and dryness during the late spring and early summer dormancy are necessary for proper growth of the bulb. Water regularly while they are in active growth and fertilize in late summer. When growing these plants in containers set them so that the tops of their bulbs are exposed. Once the foliage has died, don't water the pots. Allow them to become pot bound.
PROPAGATION: The bulbs can be divided, but only when necessary as these plants like to be crowded. When dividing, do so only after the foliage has begun to yellow. They probably won't bloom for several years after you move them.
VARIETIES: A. belladonna.
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