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Belladonna Lily Planting Guide

Belladonna Lilies, often referred to as 'Naked Lady Lilies' for their gracefully bare stems, are gorgeous summer bloomers that produce multiple fragrant flowers on each impressive stalk. Despite their delicate appearance, these blushing beauties are remarkably drought-tolerant and tough once established. They're also resistant to deer and rabbits and highly attractive to pollinators! Learn more about growing and caring for these big South African ladies with this informative planting guide.

Success Snapshot

PLANTING
DEPTH

5"

WATER
QUANTITY

Low

SUNLIGHT
QUANTITY

Full to Partial Sun

PLANTING
PROXIMITY

8" Apart

BLOOM
SEASON

Late Summer

HARDINESS
ZONES

Zones 7-10

Outdoor Beds
  1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Belladonna lilies will not thrive in wet soils.
  2. Site your bulbs where they will receive full sun.
  3. Dig holes and plant the tear dropp shaped bulbs with their tips just at the soil surface and space 12" apart. The bulbs are large with slight pointed tops - plant with the points facing upwards.
  4. After planting, water well to settle the soil around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. Flowers are produced in mid to late summer with foliage following thereafter.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut belladonna lilies for spectacular arrangements. This will not hurt the plants.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season, foliage will develop. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate.
  7. By late summer or early fall the foliage may yellow and die back. Your bulbs will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle. In the warmest regions the folaige may stay green until mid spring. Then it will yellow and die back. When the foliage is absent and the bulbs are dormant, withhold water.

Pots,Barrels,Tubs & Urns
  1. Find a large container and fill it with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes; belladonna lily bulbs must never sit in water logged soil or they will rot.
  2. Site your bulbs where they will receive full sun.
  3. Dig holes and plant the teardrop-shaped bulbs with their tips just at the soil surface and space 7-8" apart. The bulbs are large with slight pointed tops - plant with the points facing upwards.
  4. After planting, water well to settle the soil around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. Flowers are produced in mid to late summer with foliage following thereafter.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut belladonna lilies for spectacular arrangements. This will not hurt the plants.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season, foliage will develop. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate.
  7. By late summer or early fall the foliage may yellow and die back. Your bulbs will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle. In the warmest regions the foliage may stay green until mid spring. Then it will yellow and die back. Withhold water when leaves are absent and the bulbs are dormant.

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