Amaryllis belladonna.

Jim McKenney
Mon, 04 Sep 2006 09:55:57 PDT
I've been following this discussion with interest. Amaryllis belladonna has
been attempted on and off in eastern North America for the last two hundred
years, and I'm not aware of any long term successes. 

Amaryllis belladonna was one of the first plants I obtained for my "cape
bulb border" forty years ago when I was a teenager. As luck would have it,
it bloomed once - and that was enough to convince me what a wonderful plant
it is.  

Pot culture does not seem to be the answer. Digging the bulbs for the summer
seems to be a mistake. 

I'm beginning to suspect that Amaryllis belladonna and Nerine sarniensis
have similar requirements: those of us here in the east fail repeatedly with
both of these. And I'm beginning to believe that cold winters - above
freezing for the most part but still cold - are essential for these while
they are in full leaf. 

If that's true, then cold frame culture might work here, and I'll be trying
that with Nerine sarniensis this winter.

I've seen the suggestion that Nerine sarniensis benefits from relatively
cool summer temperatures; that might be true, but it certainly isn't
necessary for Amaryllis belladonna - unless southern California summers are
a lot cooler than I imagine. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where even with a full moon
I'm not ready to dance naked for my Amaryllis, but I might sing Caccini's
song "Amarilli mia bella" and see what happens. 

More information about the pbs mailing list