Amaryllis belladonna

naked ladies

Outstanding Qualities

Amaryllis belladonna brings scent and color to the garden when it is least expected. After its leaves die back in midsummer, it sends up a bare 18-inch tall stalk topped with fragrant pink trumpet-shaped flowers, hence the common name, naked ladies. Amaryllis belladonna 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 lovely as a cut flower.

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’, Colchicum autumnale, Panicum virgata ‘Rotstrahlbusch’, Caryopteris incana ‘Jason’ SUNSHINE BLUE, Pennisetum orientale

Great Color Contrasts: White, burgundy, gold

Great Color Partners: pink, lavender

Culture Notes

Hardy amaryllis should be planted in full sun in well-drained soil. It is extremely drought tolerant once established, but will appreciate occasional watering during dry weather. When planting, incorporate bulb fertilizer into the soil for healthy and vigorous growth. In zone 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. You may wish to mark the location of the bulb during the dormant season to avoid damaging it.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: bulb

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 10

Flower Color: pink

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: occasional watering to drought tolerant once established