Amaryl­lis bel­ladonna

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

You’ll of­ten see Amaryl­lis bel­ladonna nes­tled at the base of a sunny wall in many clas­sic, well-planted gar­dens at this time of year. Known as naked ladies, be­cause of its habit of pro­duc­ing its long­stemmed, scented, pink-trum­peted flow­ers with­out leaves, this bul­bous plant from South Africa’s Cape Flo­ral Prov­ince is a de­light of the late sum­mer gar­den.

Long, strappy leaves are pro­duced af­ter flow­er­ing. They die down in spring, when the bulbs be­come dor­mant. It’s one of those plants that if you can pro­vide it with the right con­di­tions, it set­tles down to be­come a real fea­ture.

It loves warm, sunny con­di­tions in well-drained soil such as found in a bor­der along a south-fac­ing wall or in pots on a sunny pa­tio. It needs plant­ing with the bulb tips just be­low the soil sur­face in late spring, when the bulbs will re­main dor­mant un­til late sum­mer, when the flow­ers ap­pear.

It’s im­por­tant they get sum­mer warmth, of­ten fail­ing to flower in dull, wet sum­mers or if cov­ered with fo­liage from sur­round­ing plants, and need to be pro­tected from hard frost.

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