Hippeastrum (aka Amaryllis)
These bulbs are so easy to grow into bloom indoors. With their spectacular bold cold colors they brighten up any home during the dreary Winter months. They have become a popular favorite to grow for the Christmas holidays. Only in the warmest Southern climates can they also be grown outdoors (do plant them there in the Spring though for best results, not in the Fall). Amaryllis are sold in quite a range of different sizes. The smallest bulbs will produce 1 stem with 2-4 flowers while the larger bulbs will produce more stems (up to 3) and more flowers per stem (up to 6). The overall flowering period lasts fairly long since the stems develop one after the other as well as the blooms on each stem open up one after another. The large flowering varieties produce flowers that are 10" (25 cm) in diameter while the flowers of the miniatur varieties measure half that. More exotic looking Hippeastrum and a wider range of colors are being hybridized and introduced on a continous basis.
What You Need To Know Before You Plant:
When Will This Flower Bloom?
Indoors: normally 8-10 weeks after planting. Specially prepared & labelled 'Christmas Amaryllis' bloom in 4-6 weeks. Outdoors (deep South only): Late Spring - Early Summer
When Should I Buy and Plant These Bulbs?
Indoors: late Fall/early Winter - Outdoors (deep South only): Spring
What Kind of Light Does This Bulb Prefer?
Indoors: Bright light and a steady warm temperature of 68F (20C). Outdoors (deep South only): Full sun
What Color Will the Flower Be?
See 'popular varieties'
How Far Apart Should I Plant These Bulbs?
8 in / 20 cm
How Deep Should I Dig?
5* in / 13* cm
How Tall Will It Grow?
16-24 in / 40-60 cm
How Can I Best Use It in My Landscaping?
Deep South only: in rockgardens, containers or in garden beds amongst groundcovers or perennials. Indoors: use a container that is at least 2" (5 cm) larger in diameter than the size of the bulb.
What Should I Do After Flowering?
Cut off the dead flowers and the stem, to just above the tip of the bulb, but leave all the foliage. Continue to water it and give it some general plant food once a month for 7-9 months. Keep it in a warm spot (68-72F / 20-22C, in the warmer Southern states you could plant it outside). Sometime in August take the bulb out of the pot, cut off any remaining foliage and shake off the excess dirt. Dry it back in a well ventilated area for a week or so. After that store the bulb in a cool place (55-63F / 13-17C) for at least 8 weeks but 10-12 is even better. Now the bulb is ready to be planted and to start the growing process all over again.
Other Popular Varieties
LARGE FLOWERING; 'Apple Blossom' (pink & white), 'Ludwig Dazzler' (white), 'Minerva' (red & white striped), 'Mont Blanc' (white), 'Picotee' (white with red edges), 'Red Lion' (scarlet red), 'Rilona' (salmon pink) and 'White Christmas' (pure white). DOUBLE FLOWERING; 'Double Record' (salmon & white), 'Jewel' (white), 'Lady Jane' (orange) and 'Red Peacock' (red & white). SMALL FLOWERING; 'Green Goddess / Bianca' (greenish-ivory), 'Calimero' (red), 'Pamela' (red), 'Scarlet Baby' (dark red) and 'Voodoo / Naughty Lady' (red & white striped).
* PLANTING NOTE: do not plant too deep, the neck of the bulb should only be at soil level. Adjust your planting dept according to the size of the bulb.
About the Family
Hippeastrum (aka Amaryllis) Family
The genus Hippeastrum is composed of several species known the world over as 'Amaryllis'. This has led, unfortunately, to some confusion since another plant exists with the genus named 'Amaryllis' (it contains a single species called Amaryllis belladonna). Both are bulbous plants from South Africa but where Amaryllis belladonna has 6 to 12 smaller flowers on a solid stem, Hippeastrum have 4 to 6 large flowers on a hollow flower stem.Read More About the Family