Plumeria Flowers In Chicago

Monday, October 29, 2012

Amaryllis Care - Amaryllis Bulbs and Flowers

Amaryllis is also known as Belladonna Lily or Naked Lily.

The genus consists of two species. One species, Amaryllis belladonna, is indigenous to South Africa, specifically the Cape of Good Hope.

Sometimes Amaryllis belladonna is confused with Hippeastrum, a flowering bulb which is commonly sold during the winter months. It easily blooms indoors.

Hippeastrum is a genus comprised of about 90 species and more than 600 hybrids native to the tropical and subtropical regions from Mexico south to Argentina and throughout the Caribbean.

Most Amaryllis bulbs, Hippeastrum, produce two flower stalks with each stalk producing four to six flowers.

Amaryllis 'Desire'
Amaryllis 'Desire'

Dutch growers are considered the first commercial breeders of Hippeastrum dating back to the 18th century. New hybrids are introduced to the public every year.

Hybrids with large, single flowers include....
  • Appleblossom 
  • Beauty Bells 
  • Benfica 
  • Cherry Crush 
  • Desire
  • Ferrari Red
  • Minerva
  • Picotee
  • Vera, and many more.

Hybrids with double flowers include.... 
  • Aphrodite
  • Blossom Peacock
  • Dancing Queen
  • Double Record
  • Siren, and many more.

Cybister Amaryllis produce exotic looking flowers with narrow petals and include 
  • Chico
  • Emerald
  • La Paz
  • Lima, to mention a few.

Amaryllis 'Siren'
Amaryllis 'Siren'

When purchasing an Amaryllis bulb, Hippeastrum, it already has a perfect embryo flower formed. The bulb is ready to be planted.

Amaryllis care starts with soaking the roots of the newly purchased bulb in a cup or glass of lukewarm water to which you added some seaweed if available. 

Make sure that only the roots are submerged in water and not any part of the bulb itself. 

Keep the base of the bulb above water level.

Roots of Amaryllis bulb soaking in seaweed and water solution.
Seaweed and Water

Leave the roots in the water-seaweed mix overnight

It is ready to be planted the next day

The overnight soaking of the roots in the seaweed mixture hydrates the roots and enhances the growth of your Amaryllis plant.

To plant your Amaryllis bulb.... 
  • Start with a 6 inch container. 
  • Fill it one third with a well draining potting mix.
  • Place the bulb in the center of the pot.
  • Sprinkle some bone meal around the roots. Bone meal promotes a healthy root system and vibrant Amaryllis flowers.
  • Cover the bulb with the potting mix to the point that the "neck" of the bulb is above soil level.
  • Water the pot thoroughly with lukewarm water to which you add some seaweed and/or Superthrive which helps your Amaryllis bulb to start the growth process
  • Place your newly potted bulb in front of a well lit window.

Amaryllis 'Cherry Crush'
Amaryllis 'Cherry Crush'

Caring for your planted Amaryllis bulb....
  • Don't water again until you see some growth of the leaves, flower stalk or both.
  • During the growing period keep the potting mix moist.  
  • When your Amaryllis bulb has finished flowering, cut off the flower stalk and continue to grow it until August or September.
  • During this period keep it in good light, water regularly and fertilize every other week with a fertilizer high in Phosphorus and Potassium. You do this to promote next season's flowers.
  • In August or September stop watering and fertilizing.
  • Store the bulb in the pot in a dark place.    
  • In December or January remove most of the potting mix from the top of the container to expose the roots..
  • Sprinkle some bone meal over the roots and cover with fresh potting mix.
  • Water with seaweed and/or Superthrive.
In a couple of months your bulb will reward you again with beautiful Amaryllis flowers.

Copyright © Bob Walsh