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How to Grow Belamcanda

Belamcanda chinensis
Belamcanda chinensis

Belamcanda–commonly called blackberry lily– bears branched clusters of small yellow-orange flowers. Flowers appear above iris-like fans of sword-shaped leaves that grow from thick, fleshy rhizomes. The flowers are followed by showy clusters of shiny blackberry-like fruits, thus the common name blackberry lily.

Belamcanda is a member of the iris family. It is a perennial that grows from a rhizome. Grow Belamcanda in full sun in average to somewhat rich, well-drained, evenly moist soil. Plants grow well in sandy soil.

Belamcanda is a genus of 2 species of short-lived perennials native to coastal meadows an grassland in India, China, and Japan.

Belamcanda chinensis
Belamcanda chinensis

Get to Know Belamcanda 

  • Plant type: Perennial with rhizome 
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 5 to 10 
  • Hardiness: Hardy to -10°F (-23°C)
  • Height and width: 18 to 24 inches (46-61cm) in leaf, 30 to 40 inches (76102cm) in bloom x 18 inches (467cm) 
  • Foliage: Iris-like flat fans of tall sword-sahped leaves on zigzagging fleshy rhizomes 
  • Flowers: Branched clusters of small 1.5 inch (3.8cm) orange or yellow-orange flowers that have six petals called tepals
  • Flower color: Yellow-orange
  • Fruits: Show clusters of shiny blackberries 
  • Bloom time: Midsummer; each flower lasts only a day, but new blossoms keep opening for weeks 
  • Uses: Plant in clumps in a border 
  • Common name: Blackberry lily 
  • Botanical name: Belamcanda 
  • Family name: Iridaceae 
  • Origin: China and Japan 

Where to Plant Belamcanda 

  • Plant Belamcanda in half to full sun.  
  • Plant Belamcanda in well-drained, sandy soil. 
  • Belamcanda will not do well in areas with cool, moist summers or wet soil in winter.  

Belamcanda Uses and Companions

  • Plant Belamcanda in informal and cottage gardens, best against a dark background.
  • Garden companions include ornamental grasses, cushion spurge, blanket flower, or glob thistle; Coreopsis, Cosmos, Nepeta faassenii, Sedum.

When to Plant Belamcanda 

  • Set container-grown Belamcanda in the garden in spring or autumn.
  • Plant Belamcanda seeds in spring.  

Planting and Spacing Belamcanda 

  • Plant Belamcanda rhizomes 1 inch (2.5cm) deep in porous soil.
  • Space plant 12 inches apart.

How to Water and Feed Belamcanda 

  • Keep Belamcanda average water. 
  • Feed Belamcanda with an all-purpose organic fertilizer in spring. 

How to Care for Belamcanda 

  • Deadhead Belamcanda to keep blooms coming. 
  • Place a winter mulch over Belamcanda in cold winter regions.

Belamcanda Pests and Diseases 

  • Belamcanda is susceptible to iris borer and iris soft rot.  
  • Check Belamcanda for leaf damage in spring; remove and destroy all foliage and stems in fall.  

Belamcanda Propagation 

  • Belamcanda self-sows and is short-lived. 
  • Renew Belamcanda by division in spring every two or three years.  

Belamcanda Varieties to Grow 

  • Belamcanda chinensis, blackberry lily, leopard flower, produces clumps of erect, sword-shaped 2 foot (.6m) tall leaves topped in summer by branched stems of flowers that reach 2 to 4 feet (.6-1.2m). Flowers are 1-2 inches (2.5-5.1cm) wide and are bright orange or yellow with maroon spots. Beige seed capsules follow the flowers and open to reveal clusters of large shiny black seeds; best in Zones 5 to 9.  
  • ‘Freckle Face’ is a short version with pale orange blossoms.  
  • ‘Hello Yellow’ is unspotted.  
  • X Pardncanda norrisii, candy lily, is 2-3 feet (.6-.9m) tall with violet, cream, orange-red, salmon, or yellow blooms.  

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