Height 60-75cm (2 – 2-1/2ft)
Planting distance 30cm (1ft)
Flowers early to mid autumn
Sheltered sunny site
Bulbs available in summer
Only one species of true amaryllis grows outdoors, Amaryllis belladonna (the showy Hippeastrum, often sold as amaryllis, only grows indoors). A. belladonna saves its magnificent display of satiny pink, fragrantuntil autumn. The long purple stems are leafless at flowering time so surround them with other plant foliage, but don’t create too much shade. Popular varieties of A. belladonna include ‘Hathor’ – pure white flowers with a yellow throat, and ‘Parkeri’ – deep pink with a yellow throat.
The ideal situation for A. belladonna is the foot of a south-facing wall where it can get maximum benefit from the summer sunshine, and protection for the young leaves when they appear in late winter and early spring. Plant in early or mid summer setting the bulbs 15-20cm (6-8in) deep in good, well-drained soil. Remove faded flowers and the stems and leaves when they die down.
Lift mature plants when the leaves turn yellow in summer, detach the offsets and replant immediately.
Pests and diseases
Narcissus fly maggots may tunnel in the bulbs.