Growing Amaryllis Belladonna

gee_oh_nyc(6b/7a)December 13, 2006

Does anyone grow Amaryllis Belladonna in containers outdoors? If so, do you plant anything else in the same container when the foliage dies down? I'm new to this plant and would love to hear other people's experience of it,



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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

The pink Belladonna (which looks very similar to the much hardier Lycoris Squamigera) I see is only hardy to zone 7.

If left outside in your zone 7 area, in a pot, as opposed to having more protection in the ground, I would think might damage the bloom or the bulb.

To be safe, I would plant it in the ground, or move the container to a well protected area, possibly an unheated garage.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 11:59AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I meant to add the link below.

I might add, that the blooms pictured look exactly like the Lycoris I grow. I think they are oftentimes confused because they are so similar in looks and habit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Belladonna

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 12:19PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I agree, I think they are confused ALOT! Unfortunately I bet you don't know you have the wrong one until it dies over the winter.

Actually Sue I think the "belladonna" photo on your link is actually a picture of the hardier lycoris! But let me just say I am in no way an expert..... (I just read way too much about plants)... but I think the amaryllis has more of a trumpet shaped bloom like an easter lily and the lycoris is more open and loose.

I'm thinking many people confuse the two. In fact I just happened to be on the Van Borgoundien 60% off web site (no I didn't buy anything!) and I noticed that they have hardy Lycoris S. for sale but have a picture of what appears to be amaryllis belladonna... and then they say "Grow in cool greenhouses, outdoors in warmer areas where little or no frost is experienced. Elsewhere protect where temperatures drop into the twenties."
SO which one is it!!???
Is it the hardy Lycoris squamigera like it says in the title or is it the less hardy amaryllis belladonna like it says in the description (and looks like in the photo)

I don't know. They probably don't know either.
In any case I would worry about them in pots outdoors in NYC. Make sure you give them protection!

......and I do grow other things in my pots that contain bulbs. Usually smaller annuals like petunias or impatients that don't have a whole lot of thick roots.
good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: lycoris??? amaryllis???

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)


Yes, I thought the link I provided looked exactly like Lycoris also...but I 'thought' they looked exactly alike, since I have seen so many wrongly labeled on the net, I guess.

You're right...Those in your link aren't Lycoris And they show the zones to be 5-10.

I think I'll contact them about them having a major screw up listed on line....Anyone from colder climates will for sure loose them. Maybe they will want to give me my order for

Sue...who has the Lycoris 'for sure'.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 10:48PM
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I just purchased some Belladonna bulbs off ebay. After reading several related sites, it seems these plants do not do well in Mississippi due to the amount of rain. Therefore, it seems I need to grow these in pots, which also seem to be a problem. My question is if grown in pots, what size is requirred? And how many should you plant in each pot? I hope to build a green house this year, so this may solve my problem related to rain, but the temperature will be quite hot in summer. At present, I don't plan to leave most plants in greenhouse during summer. All suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks. J. A.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 7:26AM
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The true A. belladonna has not been very successful for me here in SE VA, zone 7b. The problem seems to be twofold: it is a summer-dormant bulb, which means it needs a basically cool (but frost-free), sunny location in the winter (I grow mine in pots in a cool greenhouse) and a dry rest in the summer (same greenhouse with no or little water). The bulbs grow, but have not bloomed for me in several years. Ditto Amarygia, the white hybrid with Brunsvigia - nice plants, no blooms. Amarcrinum, the hybrid with Crinum (powellii, I think), on the other hand, is a very hardy bulb here, growing outside, unmulched, and blooming faithfully in September and October. It has a different look from Lycoris, as well - I think you'd definitely see it if you examined L. squamigera and A. belladonna (or its hybrids) side-by-side. One more year, and I'm going to "ebay" my A. belladonnas to make room in the greenhouse for things that actually will bloom (maybe threatening them will produce results!)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 5:01AM
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One thing to remember with A. belladonna is that it absolutely hates to be disturbed. If it is, it may not bloom for many years after.

I've had mine in the ground out here for about 3 years. This year, we had record lows of low 20s for well over a week. The belladonnas survived without a hitch. Their strappy leaves are still going strong. :)

They survive on rainfall alone, which we usually only get during a short period between Nov. and Feb. out here, sometimes earlier and later. Last year, we had a LOT of rain into the spring, but they received nothing until the rains this year. In fact, Jan. was not only cold, but the driest on record for us since 1889 in the Sacramento area.

Belladonna flowers are much more tubular than the pics of the Lycoris above. The petals only curl back when the bloom is on the downside of gorgeous, if then. And the edges are smooth and straight, with no ruffling.

To me, the scent is enough to send me to happyland. :)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 10:09PM
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surkanol(so, Calif.)

Yes I agree the true A. belladonnas deeply resent being disturbed. I suspect they are also finicky about the way they are planted, maybe more so if potted. I would say to pot them with the neck showing, maybe even a bit of the top of the bulb too. I have to say that is a total guess, as I don't pot mine. I do know that planting with the neck/top of the bulb exposed does not bother them, where the climate suits them well. They do make an amazing amounts of roots.. which don't seem to go 'dormant' like on other bulbs.. they seem to stay fleshy all the time. I think part of the reason they seem to resent it is because they spend so much energy regrowing/repairing their roots?

Anyways, another thing is they absolutely love heavy feedings. They will do great if not fed at all but.. if fed regularly they will respond in a big way. I used rakings from my peafowl pens, Miracle- Gro and the cheap fertilizer for roses that came in little pellets and just fed them every week. Not every clump flowered the following summer, but the next summer pretty much all of them flowered very heavily. They also recover and start blooming much sooner if fed well, sometime just after a year or two. I took some of mine to my father's house where they bloomed again after just two years.. however his soil is naturally extremely rich- high in silt & clay. Otherwise, under "normal" circumstances they can refuse to flower again for 5 years easily. Also I would suggest if they were already in a good size pot, leave them in even if they start dividing and really filling up the pot- just feed them very frequently and they should bloom. The large old clumps often are extremely crowded, to the point some bulbs actually are forced aboveground seem to flower the best. I have noticed bulbs that I moved in large clump sections recovered and flowered much better than bulbs that were separated and planted singly. With that, I would recommend to repot with the whole clump intact, with no separating or "loosening".

Another possible reason some don't flower soon is because the bulbs they got/moved were young bulbs. It's normal for the young bulbs to need growing for several years before blooming for the first time.. the bulb size can be deceiving, the adult bulbs can get pretty large, softball size or larger, so a young bulb might seem "large". So if the bulb was golf ball size or a little larger, it is probably just too young.

If I had to use a greenhouse, I would try to plant them directly in the ground if possible.. like on a raised sand bed. I have heard of Australian and British growing summer dormants in raised beds filled with sand or quick draining materials with either no or very simple overhead protection. I think the basic idea is to keep the bulb itself and the root base on the drier side while allowing the roots reach the richer and moister soil down below. I have no idea if that would work in your area.. I'm wondering if the pot was filled with well draining soil and then mostly or half way buried in the ground would work well? Summer heat does not bother them very much, summertime temps in my area tops 110-120F every summer.. with no watering at all and they love it. I would worry about un-buried potted ones getting too hot though?

Even though they are very drought tolerant, they respond very well to frequent watering during their growing period, as long as the soil does not become soggy.

I also heartily agree there is no chance of confusing between the various species once seen in person. And the scent is definitely worth it!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 4:30AM
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Thank you!

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 4:01AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)


No, I doubt if you will get any questions answered by members here.

You might want to try that 'other' site though.

You can be banned for spamming here, but you probably already know that.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 12:58AM
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