Amaryllis belladonna is a beautiful late summer flowering ornamental bulb native to south and south-west Africa. It s surprising hardy and despite its subtropical origins will survive outside in the milder regions of northern Europe - including the south of England.

They are usually purchased as pre-packed dried bulbs in late spring. They can be planted as soon as the threat of late frost has passed but historically they are usually kept in a cool, dry position until being planted in June or July. Plant them  6-8 inches deep in a well-drained soil making sure that the tops of the bulbs are covered.

Amaryllis belladonna will do best at the foot of a south facing wall where it can receive the maximum amount of heat and light from the summer sun. It will also require a certain amount of protection for the young leaves as they emerge in late winter and early spring.

If left undisturbed, new bulbs will develop and form clumps of plants over  a period of years. Despite their long delicate-looking stems they will not require staking. Remove flowers as they die, but allow the stems and leaves to die down before removing.

Amaryllis belladonna has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit