Naked Lady

1 Apr

Naked Lady (Amaryllis belladonna), deciduous bulb, clumping grass-like growth to 12 inches, leafless stalks bear terminal clusters of bright pink fragrant flowers in fall, foliage emerges in winter as rains begin, full sun to part shade, drought tolerant, care free.

Native to South Africa. Performs best in areas with warm, dry summers. Bold, straplike leaves form clump about 1 ft. high, 2 ft. wide in fall and winter; foliage dies back by early summer. About six weeks later, 2 to 3-ft. stalks rise from bare earth (hence the common name), each topped by a cluster of 4 to 12 fragrant, trumpet-shaped, rosy pink flowers.

Grows in almost any well-drained soil. Gets all the moisture it needs from winter rains. Plant bulbs 1 ft. apart right after bloom period ends. Where winter temperatures stay above 15° F/ 9° C, keep tops of bulb necks at or slightly above soil level. In colder-winter areas, choose a protected southern exposure and set bulbs slightly below ground level.

Lift and divide clumps rarely; they may not bloom for several years if disturbed at the wrong time. Very long lived.

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