Genus of one species, Amaryllis belladonna,
a bulbous perennial from South Africa (Zone 7).
Cultivated into several varieties. Not commonly grown by gardeners.
Genus of several dozen species of bulbous perennials from South America (Zone 10).
Most notable is a large flowering and commonly grown house plant that blooms in late winter.
This plant is routinely (and incorrectly) called Amaryllis.
Cultivated into several dozen varieties/hybrids.
Hippeastrum typically produce flowers of red, white, or pink. We list an example of each flower color in the table below. For more images, click on the link to the right of the flower.
We grow and successfully flower several dozen Hippeastrum bulbs each year. Many have dependably bloomed year after year. Here's our procedure:
- In mid-May, we bury the pots (each containing one Hippeastrum bulb) in our garden. We abandon them for five months - no special watering, no weeding, no fertilizer, nothing. They are on their own!
- During the first week in October (right before the frost), we pull up the pots from the garden and place them on our workbench. We cut off any green leaves, remove the bulb from the pot, shake off the soil, and inspect the bulbs for damage. We wash the remaining soil off the bulb with a garden hose. We then let the bulb dry in the sun for a few hours.
- After the bulbs are dry, we place each bulb and it's identification tag into a small brown paper bag. The bags are stored in the house, kept dry, but away from direct sunlight for 45 days.
- Now that the bulbs have rested, we place each bulb in a pot on top of new potting mix. Our potting mix contains 50% finely ground pine bark, 25% perlite, and 25% vermiculite. To the potting mix we add a small amount of granular, slow release, bulb food (10-10-10). We place the bulb 1/3rd way into the potting medium, label a tag and stuck it in the pot. The potted bulbs are lightly watered (moist, but not soggy).
- The pots are transferred to a shelving rack in our house. They will receive no more water until we start to see some growth. The storage room is cool (between 55-68 degree Fahrenheit), but has good air circulation. Bulbs receive some indirect light from a nearby window.
- Between 41 to 100 days after watering, most of the Hippeastrum have produced a flower stalk and have flowered. Flowers typically remain for 15 to 21 days. Many plants have a second or third bloom. Flower blooms usually occured in February and March. Over 90% of the bulbs flower every year.
- The spent plants are then kept alive, and kept indoors, until mid-May when the cycle is repeated.
Hippeastrum 'Merry Christmas' (White)
We keep a record of which Hippeastrum bulbs bloom, the number of blooms, and how long each set of flowers last. There is considerable variation among the bulbs. Here are some of our bloom records:
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