Amaryllis Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Amaryllis plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Belladonna Lily, and Naked Ladies: Cultivation & Garden Use

The common names for the half hardy bulb Amaryllis include Belladonna Lily, Paradise Amaryllis, and Naked ladies.

They typically flower from late summer to autumn.


White Amaryllis
Amaryllis photographs by NatalieMaynor and Digital Cat.

The Amaryllis plant can grow stems up to 50 to 90 cm (20 to 36 inches) in height.

Naked ladies have beautiful trumpet shaped flowers, and they can make ideal pot plants.

Commonly Grown Amaryllis Species

Amaryllis belladonna

The Amaryllis belladonna is a perennial plant. It can grow up to 24 inches (60 cm) tall. This plant is also known as Belladonna Lily. It stands out with its bulbous base, strap-shaped leaves and clusters of fragrant, pink flowers on leafless stems.

Amaryllis belladonna
Amaryllis belladonna (Belladonna lily / Jersey lily / Naked-lady-lily / March lily / Naked Ladies), photograph by chuck b.; CC.

It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. The Belladonna Lily is commonly grown in gardens for its striking flowers. These plants are ideal for borders, rock gardens, or containers and are usually planted in late summer or early fall.

Visit my full Amaryllis belladonna Growing Guide.

Amaryllis paradisicola

Amaryllis paradisicola is a bulbous perennial. It can reach up to 30 inches (75 cm) in height. It is also known as the Paradise Amaryllis. This plant is characterized by long, lanceolate leaves. It blooms with tubular, pink to red flowers.

Amaryllis-paradisicola, picture by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; (CC BY 4.0).

It's best grown in a garden location that has full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. The Paradise Amaryllis is commonly used in borders for its vibrant and fragrant blooms. Its flowers appear in late summer, adding late season interest to gardens.

How to Grow Naked ladies, Belladonna lily and other Amaryllis

It is best to sow naked ladies on the soil surface, then just cover them with a dusting of soil.

They should be planted with a spacing of 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches), in the spring after the last frost.

Amaryllis prefer sunny conditions. The soil should be rich, well drained, yet and moist.

Amaryllis requires between three weeks and 16 weeks to germinate. If starting off indoors, then they should intially be grown at 19 to 24 degrees centigrade (66 to 75°F).

Start from February in individual pots, then put out doors after the last frost of spring.

Amaryllis Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Belladonna Lily, Jersey Lily, Naked ladies, Amarillo, March Lily, Easter Lily.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Bulb.
  • Height: 20 to 24 inches (50—60 cm).
  • Native: South Africa.
  • Growing Region: Zones 6 to 8.
  • Flowers: Late summer through to autumn.
  • Flower Details: White, pink, purple. Crimson veins. Funnel shaped. Clusters of two to twelve flowers. 2.4 to 4 inches in diameter (6—10 cm).Fragrant (similar smell to Narcissus)
  • Foliage: Produced in autumn or late spring (warmer areas). Green. Strapped shape. 12 to 20 inches (30—50 cm) long, 1 inch (2.5—3 cm) wide.
  • Grow Outside:
    Seeds: Cover seed. Following the last frost. Space at 10 to 12 inches (25—30 cm).
    Bulbs: plant in soil amended with peat moss, compost or other organic material. Bulbs are tear shaped, plant about 4 inches (10 cm) deep with the tip at soil level. Space at about 12 inches (30 cm) apart. Water well to bed in. Then add an inch (2.5 cm) of mulch.
  • Sow Inside: Germination time: three weeks to four months. Individual pots. Temperature: 68 to 75°F (19—24°C). Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Drought tolerant, but provide water when leaves are present, withhold water once foliage has died. Winter mulch. Provide support.
    Once flowers have faded cut back to one inch (2.5 cm) above the bulb. Bring Amarylli bulbs indoors over the winter in cold areas and store in a frost free, but cool place. Propagate: by dividing bulb clumps when dormant, or plant offsets when they appear.
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Allium, Leucojum, Nerine.
  • Miscellaneous: Genus contains two species Amaryllis belladonna (the more commonly grown) and Amaryllis paradisicola, do not confuse with members of the Hippeastrum genus, which are a commonly grown houseplant with the common name of Amaryllis.
    The name ‘naked ladies’ is derived from the fact that they flower once their foliage has died back. Has a symbiotic relationship with members of the Xylocopa genus (carpenter bees). Named after the Shepherdess Amaryllis from Greek mythology.

Caring for Amaryllis in the Garden

Amaryllis are not the easiest plants to grow from seed and they may take up to nine years to flower!

They require a thick mulch in the winter, and bulbs should be stored indoors in severe winters.

Common Questions

How many members does the Amaryllis genus have?

The Amaryllis genus includes 2-3 species, but the name is often used for similar plants in the Hippeastrum genus.

Do members of Amaryllis make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Amaryllis is popular for its large, colorful flowers. It is often grown in pots or garden beds in appropriate climates.

Which Amaryllis species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Amaryllis belladonna (Belladonna Lily) is the most commonly grown species in this genus.

Are members of the Amaryllis fragrant?

Amaryllis belladonna is known for its fragrant flowers, which have a sweet, vanilla-like scent.

What is the perfect location to grow Amaryllis?

Amaryllis prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It needs a dry, dormant period in summer.

Is Amaryllis invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Amaryllis belladonna is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Amaryllis from my garden?

Removal involves digging up the entire bulb of the plant and ensuring no pieces are left behind.


The Amaryllis genus consists of perennial plants known for their stunning and showy flowers. Native to South America, Amaryllis plants are highly regarded for their large, trumpet-shaped blooms that come in various colors, including red, pink, and white. They thrive in well-drained soil and prefer full sun to partial shade exposure. Regular watering is important during the growing season to promote healthy flower development.

Cultivating Amaryllis is relatively straightforward as they are low-maintenance plants. These plants can be propagated through bulb division or by purchasing pre-grown bulbs. Amaryllis species are commonly grown indoors and can be forced to bloom during the winter months. With their vibrant and showy flowers, Amaryllis adds a touch of elegance and beauty to any indoor or outdoor setting. Whether used as potted plants or incorporated into flower beds, Amaryllis creates a striking focal point and brings joy with its dazzling blooms.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on Amaryllis. You may also enjoy the following Amaryllidaceae family Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Cape Lily and Allium Globemaster plants.