Amaryllises belladonna or naked ladies/Jersey lilies will bear clusters of fragrant pink funnel-shaped flowers on naked stems before strap-like leaves begin to emerge in autumn. Usually spotted peaking out of warm coastal velds and rocky areas of South Africa, these exotic perennials can take a couple of years to settle but your patience will soon be rewarded with truly eye-catching floral displays. Try mixing with gladioli, lilies and nerines or green-grey leaved plants like hostas. They make great cut flowers.
Plant in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in a sheltered, sunny position. Remove stems after flowering. Mulch in frost-prone areas and leave undisturbed to form clumps.
Always unpack bulbs on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
Generally disease free, amaryllises belladonna can however be affected by:
Narcissus bulb flies: these hoverflies lay their eggs at the base of the foliage. As the eggs hatch, the larvae gradually burrows trough the basal plate before devouring the centre of the bulb. Foliage and flowers may fail to appear, host may produce grass-like leaves and potentially die. Dig out and destroy any affected bulbs at first sign.
Snails and slugs:these pests enjoy munching on young shoots, stems, leaves and flowers. Watch out for damage!