Consider the magic of Belladonna lilies

by | Aug 1, 2017 | Gardening Tips

Belladonna lilies also called “Resurrection Lilies,” “Magic Lilies,” “Surprise Lilies” or even “Naked Ladies,” Lycoris squamigera are in the hardy amaryllis family and will thrive in USDA zones 5-9.

They should be planted in a full sun to bright shade site, in the fall about five to six inches deep, with the tip of the bulb just below the soil, and six inches apart and mulched.

The bulbs resent being replanted, so find the best spot from the start.

The soil should be organically rich and moist but very well drained. The grey-green traplike foliage grows 12 inches long and one inch wide, emerging in the springtime along with daffodils, then dies back in summer.

Plants need water when the foliage is green, but is very drought- tolerant once the foliage has died back.

In August the flower scapes grow up to two feet tall without any foliage — like magic!

Once up and out of the soil, they bear four to seven large, outwardly facing, fragrant shimmering rose pink to lilac flowers that open one at a time.

They will attract butterflies and hummingbirds, but not deer.

(Editor’s Note: Ginny Rosenkranz is a commercial horticulture specialist with the University of Maryland Extension.)