Friday, August 14, 2009

Astounding Amaryllis Flowers Blooming in So California August Heat

Amaryllis belladonna are fascinating flowers. They bloom straight out of the bare ground on tall stalks. Their flowers are large and dramatic, shaped like trumpets about four inches long. They smell wonderful and can perfume a room on a hot summer day. They bloom in late summer or early fall.

The leaves are on a completely different schedule. They sprout from their stout bulbs in spring or early summer. The bright green leaves are about a foot long and an inch wide.

These amaryllis are native to South Africa, making them a perfect fit for my hot, dry garden. They require no additional water and survive on rainfall alone. They are also called Brunsvigia rosea or Belladonna Lily or Naked Lady. Don't confuse these with the other hybrid bulb sold as amaryllis that is a favorite of florists, with striped flowers; its' latin name is Hippeastrum and it requires regular water.

This is how my amaryllis looked about six days ago. One fat bud emerges from the ground. To be honest, I'd completely forgotten I had planted it there!

Soon there are two stalks about two feet tall and the flowers are unfolding. There are usually four or five flowers in the bunch.

These bulbs grow in Sunset Zone 4 - 24 or USDA Zone 7 - 10. In colder winter areas they do better with extra mulch and slightly deeper planting.

Amaryllis bulbs are generally large, two or three inches tall is a normal size. They don't like to be planted deeply; at or slightly above ground level is fine. They have a way of emerging from the ground as they get older and produce offset bulbs. The best time to transplant them is just after blooming.

Just try not to forget where you planted them!


Abby Lanes said...

Gorgeous photos and informative reading. I love those flowers. I've been seeing them everywhere and wondering what their story was.

bradzio said...

I'm a big fan of the naked ladies as most people call them here. Great pics. I don't have them in my garden and didn't realize there were leaves at a totally different time of year.

Wellness Writer said...

As a newbie gardener in Los Angeles, I appreciate all the info, and the great photos. Thanks.

Carrie said...

Amaryllis outside!!! wow. Gorgeous

Philippine flowers said...

Well, I definitely agree with you there, "Amaryllis belladonna are fascinating flowers." and I really love it! Wish I can also have that in my garden. Anyway, thanks for sharing! Keep it up!


sharleen said...

wow. Gorgeous
Nice effort, very informative, this will help me to complete my task.

Jamie@ silk bouquets said...

This flower is definitely amazing and looks really gorgeous. I've never seen one before.

Florist Sydney said...

Gorgeous flower, it looks exotic. :)


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