Planting Amaryllis in Your Home Garden
Amaryllis is a rather nice-blossoming perennial bulbous plant. It comes from Africa. Amaryllis plant has linear-linguiform leaves. Big flowers with perfect fragrance are located on the firm flower stalks. Big bulbs can form 1 or 2 flower stalks with 6-12 flowers of white, pink and red color. The flowers make up inflorescences that form splendid amaryllis bouquets. The true amaryllis blossoms in autumn. Nowadays it is rather popular and you can find amaryllis bulbs for sale in every florist shop, as well as amaryllis seeds.
Amaryllis is a heat-loving plant. It is not grown in the open soil, it does not tolerate cold wintering. Planting amaryllis should be done very carefully. Amaryllis belladonna – “amaryllis the beauty” – is grown in house. By the way, it is the only kind, which is referred to as amaryllis plants. All hybrid forms of this flower are usually considered amaryllis Hippeastrum flowers (knight’s-star). Hippeastrum’s flowers are bigger (up to 15 cm in diameter), the flowers’ coloring can be different, even striped, flower stalks are fistular. Amaryllis bulbs are pear-shaped, rather big. Hippeastrum amaryllis bulbs are more round and slightly flattened, but it is hard to distinguish one type of amaryllis bulbs from the other. So, in order to buy exactly the amaryllis, not the amaryllis hippeastrum, the planting stock should be bought in specialized shops in packages with the manufacturer’s label. The amaryllis bulbs can be stored in a dry place for a long time.
We should mention other species of flower amaryllis family: red amaryllis (or amaryllis red lion), amaryllis Minerva, white amaryllis, blue amaryllis and so on.
GROWING AMARYLLIS FLOWER
If you wonder how to grow amaryllis, we can say that we usually get amaryllis plant for the first time already growing in the pot. You can also buy amaryllis plant in the florist’s already planted or in the form of amaryllis bulbs which you are to plant yourself. Growing amaryllis is rather simple.
If the pot with amaryllis plant was in quiescence when being very rarely watered and kept in a cool place at +13-15 degrees, then in order to induce it for vegetation the plant should be brought in the warm room with the temperature of +20-25 degrees and put in the light place. The beginning of vegetation depends on when we want to obtain a blossoming plant. The most luxuriant flowers can be at the beginning of vegetation not before March.
A flower stalk appearing from the bulb will tell you that the vegetation period has started. Attention! Don’t make a mistake! Until the flower stalk is 10 cm long, amaryllis should not be watered. If you start earlier the stalk will grow slowly, it is the leaves that will grow fast, and, consequently, the plant will have less strength for blossoming. Further watering should be made as the earth lump dries with warm settled water near the edge of the pot in the way that prevents water from getting to the bulb. In this period the flower must be fertilized once a fortnight so that the bulb couldn’t weaken.
Amaryllis flowers usually blossom when they are leafless. Leaves appear only during blossoming. After blossoming finishes, when the flower stalks become dry, leaves should not be cut, and the plant should be fertilized for some time. Then fertilizing and watering should be reduced, and after two months the plants must be watered only occasionally. The plant goes into a quiescent state. The desirable temperature in this period is cool but not lower than +10 degrees. The plant does not need bright light during this period either. The quiescent state lasts for about 3 months, after which the plant can be put to forcing treatment. Alteration of quiescent periods and periods of growth is important. In this way, the plant does not weaken and blossoms year after year. Many floriculturists note that even if you don’t create special conditions for quiescence and leave the amaryllis plant on the light windowsill you still can get flowers, but it is better for the plant to create conditions that are close to conditions of its natural growth, in this case, you can expect active growing and new generations.
Amaryllis is a perennial plant and they should not be transplanted every year. It will be enough to change the upper layer trying not to damage the roots and not to cover the bulb more than to the level it was covered before. The plant can be transplanted once in 3-4 years or when the bullets are to be separated.
Transplantation is made after blossoming finishes and the flower stalk becomes dry. The soil for planting is composed of equal parts of deciduous, turfy, humus earth and sand or bought in the shop for bulbous plants. The bulb which was taken from the old pot must be cleaned from rotten roots and dry squama, from bullets that are formed in the pockets of outside squama of a maternal plant. The bulb prepared in this way is planted one for a pot, not less than 1/3 of the bulb’s height should be on the surface. Even 1/2 of the bulb can be left on the surface. The pot must have a drainage layer, and it will be good to put a layer of sand under the bulb’s bottom. Amaryllis does not like when the water stagnates. It is better to forget about watering this flower on time than to overwater it. The pot should not be very big. 3cm of free space from the side of the bulb to the edge of the pot will be enough.
There are special methods to achieve amaryllis rebloom. Making your plant bring flowers again is a subject for a separate discussion, and we will talk about it later.
REPRODUCTION OF AMARYLLIS FLOWER.
All bulbous plants: hippeastrum, amaryllis, lily, tulip, and others can be reproduced by daughter bulbs, which are separated from the maternal plant during transplantation. It is the simplest way of reproduction for these plants. Planting daughter bulbs is the same as planting maternal plant during transplantation: the same earth composition and the same height of bulb planting. The pot must be taken considering the size of the adult bulb. Young plants grow fast and in two years they reach the size of the maternal bulb. And you should not transplant amaryllis very often.
The second way of reproducing amaryllis is by amaryllis seeds. In order to get seeds, you should use cross-pollination of amaryllis flowers with the brush and let them ripen. The process of seeds’ ripening lasts about one month, after that, they must be planted in the soil and watered properly because the soil must be damp. In about a month young growth will appear. When the plants grow up, they should be planted by one in small pots.
When reproducing by daughter bulbs you can get a blossoming plant on the third year when growing from seeds amaryllis can blossom only on the seventh year.
OTHER PLANTS RESEMBLING AMARYLLIS FLOWER.
First of all, it is a vast family of Hippeastrum hybrid forms. They blossom with big funnel-form flowers of red, orange, pink coloring with stripes. Hippeastrums are not fragrant, they have fewer flowers than amaryllis plant.
Vallota purpurea has long dark-green leaves, the flower stalk of 25 cm in height. It blossoms with red flowers which are gathered in the umbel.
Nerine is a rare plant. The leaves are ribbon up to 35 cm long. The flowers on long pedicles look like lilies with long stamens. It usually blossoms at the end of summer.
A low bulbous plant with big purple-red flowers – sprekelia formosissima – resembles amaryllis too. This plant is suitable for early forcing treatment.
If you’ve ever seen the massive size of a six-pointed amaryllis bloom, you won’t soon forget it. These eight-to-ten-inch blooms come in a variety of colors including red, pink, orange, salmon, white and bi-colors. Doubles and miniatures are also available.
There couldn’t be a more foolproof indoor plant to grow than amaryllis, and they’re all the more welcome because they generally bloom in mid to late winter. The flower is started from bulbs that are nearly the size of grapefruit. The large the bulbs, the larger and more numerous the flowers. Bulbs are commonly sold in pre-planted starter kits.
To start a bulb, plant it in a loose planting mix. Use a pot that’s only slightly larger than the bulb, and position the bulb halfway out of the soil. Water thoroughly and allow to drain. When soil is two-thirds dry, put plants on a watering routine. Expose plants to at least a half-day of bright light, and fertilize once a month.
On standard-sized amaryllis, the flower stem emerges before the leaves, grows rapidly to a height of 12 to 24 inches, and begins a sequence of blooms that last about a month. After bloom, cut the flower stem off just above the top of the bulb but don’t cut the leaves.
If you’re growing amaryllis plants to produce blooms for years to come, water them as you would any houseplant for the remainder of the winter. During the summer, you can keep plants indoors in bright light, or set them outside. Be sure to continue fertilizing. Put plants out after all danger of frost is past, and bury pots in a partially shaded location. In early September, bring plants indoors, and stop watering.
Cut old, yellowed or dried foliage from the bulbs and allow them to rest in darkness for a month before you repot them in fresh soil and resume watering to initiate blooms.
6 Tips to Successfully Grow Amaryllis
The beautiful flowering bulbs that so many of us associate with the holidays and call amaryllis are actually not true amaryllis, but rather belong to the genus Hippeastrum and consist of hybrids of several species originating from South America and South Africa. Hippeastrum or Dutch amaryllis, as they are commonly known among the easiest, showiest and longest-lasting bloom time of bulbs to successfully force indoors. Force amaryllis indoors while you are waiting for tulips and daffodils to bloom. You can purchase quality Amaryllis growing kits at Amazon Store.
Versatile to any décor, you can accent any room in your home with these vibrant flowers or surprise a friend or family member with an amaryllis as a gift! When using potted bulbs indoors, remember to protect tabletops from moisture or water damage by placing potted amaryllis on pot saucers or on plates set on a waterproof coaster or cork pads.
Tip: Force amaryllis along with hyacinths for a fragrant burst of spring color in winter!
The Top 6 Tips to Successfully Grow Amaryllis:
- Water sparingly until growth begins.
- Keep the plant in bright light – until the flower opens.
- Once the amaryllis flower begins to open, move the plant out of direct sunlight or high heat areas, so its blooms will last longer. Place in a cool spot when not at home for a longer bloom time.
- Sometimes amaryllis will become top-heavy and tippy, to correct this problem simply double pot the amaryllis (place this pot into a larger heavier pot, to provide more stability) and add some decorative moss around the plant. To support foliage that may want to bend under the weight of the blooms, simply insert a small wooden chopstick (being careful not to damage the bulb) and secure the fronds with raffia or a festive ribbon.
- Water regularly once growth is underway, keep the soil moist not soggy. Let the water run out the bottom drainage hole and pour away. Never let the pot sit in a water-filled saucer this causes the bulb and soil to get water-logged.
- Each stem will produce four or more flowers. As each bloom fades, snip it off. When all blooms on a stem have faded, cut the entire stem off about an inch from its base. Your bulb will probably produce a second stem with four more flowers. Don’t assume the show is over after the first stem-full fades. Sometimes a 3rd stem pops up.
Where to Buy Amaryllis Bulbs
Amaryllis bulbs are available typically starting in November and December. You can purchase Amaryllis bulbs individually or you can purchase Amaryllis bulbs in kit form. Stargazer Perennials offers quality complete Amaryllis grow kits at a reasonable price online or at our farm and nursery in Summerville, Oregon.
How to Make Your Amaryllis Rebloom
Amaryllis, unlike paperwhites, hyacinth and tulips, that have been forced will continue to bloom year after year if you follow these few basic steps.
1. Fertilize amaryllis regularly during the growth cycle starting one month after planting (when active growth is underway). Use organic houseplant food such as Maxi-crop or other kelp based liquid plant food.
2. After the bloom cycle has finished, trim off the stems just above the bulb nose.
3. Continue growing the amaryllis plant in bright light, watering regularly to keep soil moist.
4. During the summer keep the pot watered and fertilize monthly.
5. In September (or prior to the first frost) bring the pot inside.
6. In order to stimulate reblooming the amaryllis must ‘rest’. To accomplish this stop watering the plant, and place the bulb (still in pot) in a dry cool place or closet for 8-10 weeks.
7. Do not store the amaryllis plant near ripening fruit (such as apples) which emit ethylene gas. This naturally occurring gas damages flower development.
8. After 8-10 weeks, add a little more potting soil to the pot, or, if you like, repot the amaryllis.
9. To repot in fresh soil: Fill the space under and around the bulb with potting soil. Leave the “shoulders” of the bulb exposed (the top 1/3 of the bulb). Use a pot-sized only slightly larger around than the bulb itself. Usually, a 6- or 8-inch pot is perfect. For a more dramatic display of flowers, plant three bulbs with flowers of the same color together in a broad-based pot-sized just big enough to hold all three bulbs. All pots must have drainage holes.
10. To initiate growth during the winter, place the potted amaryllis in a warm site.
11. Water thoroughly, making sure that no standing water remains. In subsequent weeks as, water sparingly until new growth appears. Once growth emerges, water regularly to keep the soil moist (never soggy) and resume a fertilizing program.
Table of Contents
- 1 Planting Amaryllis in Your Home Garden
- 1.1 AMARYLLIS FLOWER
- 1.2 GROWING AMARYLLIS FLOWER
- 1.3 REPRODUCTION OF AMARYLLIS FLOWER.
- 1.4 OTHER PLANTS RESEMBLING AMARYLLIS FLOWER.
- 1.5 6 Tips to Successfully Grow Amaryllis
- 1.6 The Top 6 Tips to Successfully Grow Amaryllis:
- 1.7 Where to Buy Amaryllis Bulbs
- 1.8 How to Make Your Amaryllis Rebloom
- 1.9 Related