Amaryllis Belladonna Guide: How to Grow and Care for These Beautiful Flowers

In the world of gardening, each flower develops a reputation for its unique traits. One flower known for its beauty is the Amaryllis belladonna. This South African native represents beauty in many cultures and is guaranteed to bring a touch of elegance to your home or garden. Here, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to grow and care for Amaryllis belladonna successfully at home. 

How to Grow Amaryllis Belladonna

How to Grow Amaryllis Belladonna – The Essentials: 

Botanical Name:Amaryllis belladonna
Also Known As:Belladonna lily, Jersey lily, Naked ladies
Hardiness Zones:USDA zones 7 through 10
Flowering Months: July through September, depending on the location
Growing Difficulty:Easy to moderate, suitable for beginners
Type of Plant: Deciduous bulbous perennial
Light Requirements:Full sun for at least four hours a day during its growing season
Temperature and Humidity:This plant enjoys temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during its growing season. It also needs temperatures around 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for at least eight weeks in the winter to produce blooms.
Watering Needs:Water is enough to maintain moist soil during the growing season. Avoid watering during the dormant winter period. 
Soil Preferences:Enjoys moist yet well-drained soil. Grows well with acidic, alkaline, or neutral soils. Does well in chalky, loamy, or sandy soil.
Feeding:Diluted liquid fertilizer can encourage healthy growth if needed.
Growth Expectations:In approximately five to ten years, it can reach a height of two to three feet and a spread of two to three feet.
Toxicity:All parts of the plant are toxic to humans and wildlife and can cause symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Can You Grow Amaryllis Belladonna Flowers Inside and Outside?

You can grow Amaryllis flowers both inside and outside. The best locations to cultivate the flower include flower beds, patios, and gravel gardens. 

Bloom Time and Flowering Season

A collection of colorful Amaryllis Belledonna flowers in bloom in a garden

The Jersey lily tends to flower during late summer or fall, between July and September, in the northern hemisphere. 

Unfortunately, this plant’s flowering season is brief. It can last as few as a couple of weeks, but depending on the growing conditions, it may last a month or longer. 

Growth Expectations for Amaryllis Belladonna

The Jersey lily can reach between two and three feet tall. Its spread will be a similar size to its height, around two to three feet wide. The plant grows reasonably slowly and may take five to 10 years to reach its maximum height.

How to Grow Amaryllis Belladonna

Bright pink flowering Amaryllis Belladonna

What Are the Best Locations to Plant Amaryllis? 

Amaryllis plants grow well in the full sun, enjoying west and south-facing spots with plenty of light. However, this species does need shelter from harsh winter conditions. Find a spot where the plant is protected from excess heat in the hotter months or frost in the colder season.

If you decide to keep the plant indoors, remember it is toxic. So, place your belladonna lilies out of reach of children and pets.

Some of the best gardens for Amaryllis belladonna include patios, gravel gardens, and flower beds.

What Are the Best Times of Year to Plant Amaryllis Belladonna?

Try to plant your belladonna bulbs toward the end of winter. This will give the plant plenty of time to prepare for its blooming season in late summer.

Growing Amaryllis Plants from Seed vs. Young Nursery Plants 

Young Amaryllis Plants starting to germinate in the ground

To grow amaryllis plants by seed, you need to take the pink-colored seeds and plant them immediately. Germination shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks, but you may have to wait up to six years for them to flower.

If you buy the amaryllis belladonna from a nursery, you can expect it to be around two feet tall. This approach will allow you to enjoy belladonna lily blooms sooner. 

What to Do Before Planting 

First, you’ll want to consider how many Amaryllis belladonna flowers you want to plant in your garden. Then, you’ll want to ensure you have enough space to put them six to 12 inches apart for optimal growth.

Next, you’ll need to gather the tools for planting your belladonna lilies. For example, if you’re planting the lilies in pots, you’ll need well-draining soil and pots with drainage holes. You may want to buy a phosphorus-rich fertilizer as well, but it isn’t essential.

What’s the Best Soil for Growing Amaryllis Belladonna?

A small garden spade in the soil in the garden

Your belladonna lilies will prefer moist yet well-draining soil. Regarding pH, the plant will do well in soil that is either slightly acidic, slightly alkaline, or neutral. Chalk, loam, and sand can all help provide the drainage this plant needs to thrive.

How to Plant Amaryllis Belladonna

The best way to plant amaryllis flowers is to place the dormant bulb a little below the soil’s surface. Make sure the bulb’s neck is visible on the surface. 

You’ll want to ensure your belladonna lilies are in a well-draining environment for optimal growth. In colder climates, you must rely on mulching and overwintering to ensure survival and healthy growth.

If you’re interested in a step-by-step guide for potting your belladonna lilies, check the section on how to repot the plant below. 

Amaryllis Belladonna Light Preferences 

Pink flowering Amaryllis Belladonna plants 

To ensure your Amaryllis flowers grow well, place them in a sheltered location that receives full sun. This may be a sunny spot in the garden or near a sunny window indoors. 

Temperature and Humidity Preferences 

Your Amaryllis belladonna will enjoy different temperatures depending on the time of year. During its growing season, the plant prefers warm temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the winter, the plant must rest for at least eight weeks at temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees to produce its showy blooms. It also needs more humidity in the winter months. However, belladonna lilies may receive the moisture they need from the winter precipitation.


How to Care for Amaryllis Belladonna Plants

White and pink striped Amaryllis Belladonna Plants in bloom

Watering Amaryllis Belladonna Plants

Fortunately for beginners, the Amaryllis flower requires minimal watering. The plant is so resilient that it can survive droughts. This species will also adapt to prolonged periods without moisture.

You’ll want to water the plant enough to maintain moist soil during its growing season in the warmer months. Avoid watering during the dormant winter, as it will likely receive enough moisture from the winter rains. 

How, When, and Why to Fertilize 

In some cases, fertilizers are not necessary for the Amaryllis belladonna plant. However, some gardeners use a diluted, high-phosphorus fertilizer in spring to keep the flower happy.

If you want to fertilize your Amaryllis belladonna, wait until the plant produces new foliage. Fertilize the plant two to four times per month, adjusting its feeding schedule as needed. 

Pruning and Cutting Back Amaryllis Belladonna

A small cluster of flowering pink Amaryllis Belladonna

Generally, the Amaryllis belladonna plant doesn’t need to be pruned. However, if you don’t want extra seeds to form, you can remove the flower heads when the blossom starts to fade.

Propagating Amaryllis Belladonna

You can propagate this plant in various ways. You can sow seeds in containers when they’re ripe or in spring. You can also place the plant’s offsets, which grow as smaller bulbs, in separate pots with the same soil you use for your main amaryllis plant.

Overwintering Amaryllis Belladonna

It’s possible to overwinter Amaryllis belladonna plants. This may be necessary in colder climates.

To overwinter this type of plant, you need to store the bulbs in the colder months. To get them, cut the flower stalks above the bulb once they fade away. Ensure not to damage the leaves, as these are necessary for the bulb’s survival.

Now, store the bulbs in a pot with drainage holes and keep them somewhere with sun exposure. You should bring bulbs inside if temperatures plummet and frost becomes an issue, as this can damage the bulb.

When spring arrives, simply place bulbs in a small pot and position it somewhere that receives full sun.

When and How to Repot Amaryllis Belladonna Plants Grown in Containers 

Purple Amaryllis Belladonna Plants in bloom

The best time to consider repotting your Amaryllis plants is when the leaves start to turn brown. By this time, usually around late fall, the bulbs should be dormant. You’ll want to repot your belladonna lilies every three to four years as needed. 

Here are some steps for repotting your Amaryllis belladonna plant. 

  1. Remove the plant from its current container, taking a sharp tool around the edges to loosen the roots. 
  2. Lift the plant out of its container, taking care not to damage the root ball. 
  3. Add your blend of well-draining soil to the base of this plant’s new container, filling it about halfway.
  4. Place the plant in the soil, making sure the bulb sits just below the soil’s surface.
  5. Fill in any remaining gaps with soil.

Common Amaryllis Belladonna Problems and How to Treat Them

Soft pink flowering Amaryllis Belladonna

For the most part, Amaryllis belladonna is easy to care for and suitable for beginners. However, look for the following issues that may affect the plant’s growth.

The Amaryllis belladonna requires very little water to stay alive, so underwatering it isn’t as risky. However, with too much water, the plant’s bulb can start to rot. 

Always use a pot with drainage holes or add sand to optimize the drainage process. If you think your plant is experiencing watering-related issues, you should adjust its watering schedule. 

Signs an Amaryllis Belladonna is Getting Too Much Light

You’ll know your amaryllis plant is getting too much light if it shows signs of leaf burn. To avoid this, give the plant more shelter from the sun’s rays. 

Signs of Temperature Issues

Belladonna lilies are fairly heat-tolerant, but they won’t survive in harsh winter conditions. It’s a good idea to shelter your Amaryllis belladonna from cold temperatures. Bring it indoors as needed to avoid exposure to frost. 

Common Amaryllis Pests and Diseases

A caterpillar eating a green leaf

Fortunately, this plant’s toxicity helps protect it from many pests. There aren’t a lot of diseases that affect it either. However, here are a few issues you may want to look out for when caring for the Jersey lily. 

  • Bulb mites: These mites can stunt your plant’s growth and attack damaged bulbs. To protect against bulb mites, water the plant regularly and keep bulbs healthy.
  • Caterpillars: Caterpillars may be chewing through this plant’s leaves and flowers. Simply remove caterpillars from the plant with gloves or tweezers to avoid further damage.
  • Bulb rot: Bulb rot is one of the few diseases known to affect the Amaryllis belladonna plant. It usually occurs as a result of fungal growth. Spray some fungicide around the affected area, sterilize the soil, and ensure fungus does not come into contact with your other plants.

Essential Tools for Amaryllis Belladonna Care

A selection of small garden tools

Here are the tools and materials we recommend keeping on hand when caring for your Amaryllis belladonna.

  • Pot with drainage holes
  • Well-draining soil
  • High-phosphorus fertilizer
  • Watering can
  • Fungicide
  • Sand to optimize drainage
  • Gloves to protect your skin when handling the plant
  • Tweezers to remove pests like caterpillars

Growing Amaryllis Belladonna Plant FAQs: 

Is Amaryllis easy to grow?

Yes, Amaryllis belladonna is easy to grow.

Does Amaryllis come back every year?

No, if you want your Amaryllis plant to survive and bloom again the following year, you’ll need to overwinter it.

Does Amaryllis like sun or shade?

Amaryllis Belladonna likes full sun as long as it can be protected from harsh conditions if needed.

Where should I put amaryllis indoors?

Your Amaryllis belladonna will enjoy a sunny location in your home near a west or south-facing window.

Is Amaryllis toxic to humans and pets?

Yes, Amaryllis belladonna is toxic to both humans and pets. You should handle the plant with gloves and place it out of the reach of children and pets.

Wrapping Up

While native to South Africa, the Jersey Lily is a plant anyone can enjoy in their garden. As long as you have access to full sun and the right tools, you can grow Amaryllis belladonna at home. Use our tips to prepare for your beautiful amaryllis flowers. When fall comes around, this plant’s showy pink blooms will bring your garden to life. 


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