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.