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amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

Posted by xanthoria 9 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 23, 09 at 18:05

Tomorrow I'm picking up several dozen (!) free amaryllis belladonna bulbs. Apparently they have been out of the ground since at least the weekend, so I think the leaves might be... dying?

Does this make them doomed?

Can I remove the leaves and still plant them now?

Do they have preferred soil etc? I have clay but can amend. I know they prob won't bloom this year but I'd love them to succeed eventually!

thanks for any tips.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 23, 09 at 18:41

The link below gives some very good information for Amaryllis Belladonna... I'm in zone 5b, so I grow mine in a clay pot indoors, with supplemental lighting.

You can Google "Amaryllis Belladonna" and get some wonderfully informative links on history, culture, and some lovely photos.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Amaryllis Belladonna

RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

Thank you jodik - I've googled extensively and haven't found and answers to some of the questions I posed though. Especially the one about what to do with the leaves?

RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

I don't know what condition the leaves are in but I would say to plant them with the leaves. Cut off the dead ones and they should be fine. Mine are flowering at the moment and they have been just left in the ground with minimal watering. They're tough!

RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

Hi xanthoria! What a score you have! These bulbs will be just fine. They will not die being left out of the soil at all. If left out for some time, they would feed off the leaves and go into dormancy.

Just plant them as they are and some of the leaves might dry up. If so, you can always remove them when they do. I would ammend your soil with some sand or something gritty that will allow good drainage.

Just as an FYI for you, I've had a pot of them for going on 3 years and have yet to see a bloom. From what I understand, they do not like being disturbed, so they will take a while to bloom. Sad I know. I am so ready for mine to bloom, but nothing yet...

Good luck with them!


RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 24, 09 at 9:52

I'm sorry... I forgot about the leaf issue as soon as I read your post and went in search of culture information! I would plant them as is, and just cut off the dead or dying leaves. The bulbs will grow new ones as needed.

They are rather picky, and hate to be disturbed. It may take a couple of years before they settle in and begin to bloom... be patient! As long as they are planted in a well-draining soil, they'll be fine... and from what I gather, partial or dappled shade is best.

Hope this helps!

RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

Wonderful - thank you all so much. It will be painful to wait so long to see them bloom!

RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?


those bulbs are just fine. Plant them with their mature leaves, which will however die in a few weeks according to their cycle.

Amaryllis Belladonna bulbs need to have an interrupted summer baking, or else they won't produce flowers.

The cycle of the Amaryllis Belladonna is different from the cycle of a hippeastrum: 1" wide, bright green leaves emerge at the end of August, and continue growing until they reach maturity during the following Spring. Mature leaves are about 2 ft long.

Leaves die at the end of May or June (depending on the latitude), and the bulbs will be then baking in the summer heat. The plants will have NO LEAVES, and they will appear to be dead. DO NOT WATER THEM ! Keep the bulbs in the pot, in a sunny, dry place for the whole summer.

At the beginning of August, finally water the potted bulbs, and you should see scapes emerging after a day or so. Scapes will emerge, with NO leaves (that's the reason it is also called "Naked" lady).

If the summer baking is interrupted by occasional watering, or characterized by low temperatures (say you live in Canada), the Amaryllis Belladonna is VERY likely to wake up and produce just leaves and NO flowers.

RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

I just recieved 8 Naked lady amaryllis and two other Belladonna Alba (an all white hybrid) that ive been growing. I heard that you need atleast 5 gallons for the root mass of the belladonna. does anyone have insight on this? I also have two Papillio amaryllis that im having trouble getting to bloom, i recently repotted one because i believe i put too much compost in it because the lower level leaf tips were turning yellow. Im also waiting to plant my already sprouting Temptation amaryllis seeds : ) ill have pictures up soon when i get the seeds planted.

RE: amaryllis belladonna - how do I plant?

Worsleya70..... Very fortunate are you to have received those 8 bulbs. I'm very jealous. ;)
Where did you find Belladonna Alba? I have been looking all over my area for them and no one seems to know what I am talking about.

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