Naked Ladies

The Naked Lady flower, also known as the belladonna lily or, more commonly, as amaryllis, is a lovely flower that is found natively in South Africa. They are also known as the Jersey Lily, something that should’ve made them a must in this South Park episode. The flowers are long and leafless during several months of the year, giving them the name “naked lady.” Their lean stems curve slightly, often displaying a pinkish hue similar to the flower’s petals themselves.

Amaryllis can be planted and grown in most indoor environments, if planted and cared for properly. Considered the easiest flowering bulbs to bloom, naked ladies should be planted between October and April, making them another popular winter plant. The plants will flower with gorgeous lily blossoms from late December through June, usually blooming after seven to ten weeks of being planted.

As the plants grow, they feature lovely star-shaped leaves arranged in double rows, which die and fall off in the late spring months. The petals are the prettiest part of the plants, with their white, pink, and purple hues. Growing the plants indoors is a must, since they are not well-suited for many environments. Amaryllis will not tolerate frost, and do not do well in tropical areas due to their need for dry periods.

Before planning an amaryllis, its bulb should be soaked in lukewarm water for several hours. If the plants’ bulbs cannot be planted immediately upon purchase, they should be stored at a cool temperature. Potting compost is the ideal medium for planting amaryllis bulbs. Each bulb should be planted up to its neck in the compost mixture, with its pointed tip sticking out of the soil. While each bulb should be placed within the soil firmly, care should be taken in order to avoid damaging the roots.

Direct light is needed in order to get the plant growing. Naked ladies also need warmth in order to grow and should be kept at between 65 and 70 degrees F. Little water is required until the stems begin to sprout; then the plants should be watered more often.

Once the plants have flowered, they may be induced to flower once again. Simply cut off the old bloom and, after it begins to droop, the stem of the bloom. The bulbs should be dug up and cleaned before being stored for at least six weeks in a cool place, such as the crisper drawer in the refrigerator. Refrain from storing belladonna lily bulbs with apples, however, as they will lose their fertility.


Deb H's picture

Deb H

read the comment above from sarajean, 1/11

i have seen in the "detail" of these bulbs (in catalogs) that they are for zones 7-10, however i am in indiana (zone 5) and they are currently in full bloom here. i have always coveted them and want to buy some for my yard.  i am confident the ones i've seen in yards around here aren't dug when the season ends. (in fact they have proliferated) is the bulb being discussed here the same as what are prevalent here? anyone?


PepperReed's picture


I saw several folks on Dave's Garden say they wintered over (and expanded) in Indy, Chicago and Iowa.