Amaryllis belladonna, or Belladonna Lily, is a true amaryllis native to South Africa. It is a bulbous plant with dull green leaves that are up to 1˝ feet (45 cm) tall by 0.75 inch (2 cm) wide. Leaves appear in early spring and then die back. They are hardy from USDA zones 7-10.
Blooming Time: In the greenhouse: early August; in zone 7, long after the foliage has long disappeared. Plants form lovely trumpet shaped flowers on 1˝ foot (45 cm) tall flower stalks. The pinkish-white to rose-red flowers are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and are mildly fragrant.
Culture: Amaryllis belladonna need full sun to partial shade with a well-drained soil. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. To this soil mix, we add 2 cups of bone meal to each 0.01 cubic yards (0.01 cubic meters or ~1/5 bushel) of soil mix. When the foliage appears in early spring, plants are watered on a regular basis and fertilized only once during this period. After the foliage dies back, water is restricted to once a week. Once the flower stalks begin to appear, the water is stepped up to twice a week until flowering is over. During the winter months, the bulbs are stored at 48°F (9°C) until new growth starts in the spring. In zone 7 landscapes, bulbs should be planted 6 inches (15 cm) deep with a handful of bone meal added to every bulb.
Propagation: Amaryllis belladonna is propagated by division of bulbs after flowering or from seed. Fresh seed germinate readily.
Amaryllis belladonna was featured as Plant of the Week August 6-12, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.