Growing advice for the Belladonna lily (common name) Amaryllis (genus). Also known as the naked lady because of the bare flower stalks that appear without leaves.
While these flowering bulbous plants are mainly grown outside they are suitable bulb type species which will grow and flower indoors – with the correct conditions provided.
Note: Not to be confused with the Amaryllis (common name) which is from the Hippeastrum genus and flowers during the winter or spring. The belladonna blooms during late summer (March at home in Southern Africa).
Differences between amaryliss (common name) and amaryliss belladonna (botanical name): The main characteristics when looking for the differences between these is this species has no leaves at flowering time, solid stems, and produces 6 -12 flowers, while the hippeastrum (amaryllis used for the common name) has leaves shortly after flowering, hollow stems and blooms 3 – 6 flowers.
For growing indoors I actually find the hippeastrum a much more attractive plant because it produces flowers and then it’s surrounded by foliage. The belladonna is less popular among indoor growers and are only suitable for growing in greenhouses or a conservatory.
Foliage: Green strap shaped leaves appear during spring and then die back early summer after taking plenty of food reserves for the flowering period. One or two leafless solid stems appear from the bulb and flowers during late summer.
Flowering: During August or September fragrant pink or white funnel shaped flowers appear in clusters of 6 – 12 at the top of the leaf free reddish colored stalk.
Rest period: After the leaves die down, the bulb now has a resting period when dry soil is required – ready for the flower spike and flowers to appear during late summer.
|Names:||Belladonna lily, March lily and naked lady. (common). Amaryllis belladonna (botanical/scientific).|
|Max Growth (approx):||Height 24 in/60 cm.|
|Poisonous for pets:||Toxic to cats and dogs.|
Belladonna Lily Care
|Temperature:||Temperatures from 65 – 75F°f (18 – 24°c) are best suited.|
|Light:||Bright and direct sunlight is advisable. To stand any chance of getting the belladonna lily to flower it’s best to have the plant near a south-facing window, where it can get the most hours of sunshine.|
|Watering:||Keep the soil moist (not soaked) during the growing and flowering period. During the rest period after the leaves have died down, do not water until the stalk appears and then begin watering as normal.|
|Soil:||You can use equal part perlite and peat or two parts loam soil and one part perlite. Your local garden center may also be able to offer other suitable options. Make sure the bulb is planted within a large plant pot.|
|Re-Potting:||Re-pot in a fairly large pot that gives the plant plenty of room for it’s roots. Once every 2 -3 years should be fine.|
|Fertilizer:||Once the leaves appear you can fertilize with a diluted liquid fertilizer once a month. Do not feed during the rest period and begin again once the stalk appears. Feeding will help belladonna lily plants to flower, however, it’s not necessary to do so and it’s much better to give less or none at all – than too much.|
|Humidity:||Normal room humidity is fine.|
|Propagation:||These can be propagated by seed, bulb offsets or rhizome’s.|
You can grow the amaryllis belladonna indoors and if you can get them to flower they look very simple and attractive. However, I would say it’s best to take a look at the hippeastrum species because it’s much more suited for indoor growing and easier to get flowering.
Mary is our ultimate indoor gardening oracle. After many years of watching her very own indoor expo bloom, Mary has found us and today she is actively sharing her experience with our readers on a daily basis. Mary is a Political Science graduate, but one who has found a beautiful way of merging her full-time job with a drop of relaxation: indoor gardening. If you have any questions for Mary about house plants, indoor gardening, or caring techniques, drop her a line in the comments sections!
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