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Better Ways to Amaryllis

amarillis-4weeksold

On the 1st February my Christmas gift Amaryllis was rocketing upward with an 8 inch flower stalk already. The photo was taken at 6 inches only 4 days ago. What better way to reach for the stars? Unfortunately the bulb has now flowered itself out and I am looking for new bulbs to plant in Autumn.
The growing number of hybrids of Hippeastrum are better known by gardeners as Amaryllis and I will look under both names.

Amaryillis

 Ways to Grow Amaryllis

  • Buy your new bulbs early to get the pick of the varieties and sizes.
  • Look for firm bulbs with no more than a hint of undamaged leaf growth
  • The compost supplied with boxed bulbs is fibrous and short on nutrient. A soil based compost is far better.
  • I find the bulbs hard to feed up for next years flowering. The compost needs more nutrient and I will feed twice a week through summer  after flowering. Then I will give the bulb a dry Autumn rest.
  • I will use dilute foliar feed as well as tomato feed and cut back the flower as soon as it fades
  • The leaves and flowers for next year are formed during this season so when cutting back do not damage the top of the bulb. You can see where a leaf was just clipped on this plant at the bulb stage.
  • They make exotic flower bunches if bought from a florist or grown in quantity at home. Tight buds open into a tall shapely formation.

Ornamental Amaryillis pictures of and pot growing tips.

Book Cover
Hippeastrum – the Gardener’s Amaryllis (A Royal Horticultural Society Plant Collector Guide) by V Reid

 
Final Growing Tips
Plant or replant with the shoulder of the bulb just showing about the soil.
Look after the plant after it has flowered to build it up- all that big flower needs lots of bulb strength
Repot in September for Christmas flowering. I like to grow the to flower in spring.
The more light you can provide the less drawn and consequently floppy the plant will be.
If necessary support the plant with cotton tied to a network of slim sticks but most Amaryllis are strong stemmed

Is this the way to Amaryllis from K van Bourg Wholesale? The great big bulbs thought of as the Belladonna Lily are popular presents at this time of the year. Easy to grow in a bit of warmth, no lower than 45°F, the spectacular Amaryllis Hippeastrum hybrids are available in several strong colours.

Boxed Amaryllis Growing Hints

  • Plant in a pot 6 inches wider than the bulb with one third of the bulb above the surface. Decorate with sphagnum moss as a mulch if you wish. Put clay balls in the bottom of the pot or mix perlite in the soil.
  • Soak the bulb roots in warm water so they can be spread in the pot and water once but then leave the pot. The bulb can’t take up moisture until the plant develops.
  • Allow some sunlight to encourage the stem and long strappy leaves to develop and grow watering only when bone dry.
  • Do not fertilise when in flower but as the flower finishes cut it off at the top and allow the stem to brown and die back. Then the leaves can be given a foliar feed and the plant some liquid fertiliser.
  • Plants in their pot can be put outside in the sunshine for the summer and then rested in september before restarting in growth back in doors in winter. Amaryllis are happy when pot bound so keep the same pot just replacing the top couple of inches of soil.
  • Give bulbs sunshine, good soil, and proper watering and regular feeding when in growth and they will be fit healthy plants

Photo Credit
Amaryillis by Will-travel CC BY-NC 2.0

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Growing Rain Lily Bulbs & Zephyranthes

Try a new flower to go with  seasonal rain. This 2015 update on my attempts to grow Rain Lilies

I discovered a 6 inch pot in my greenhouse with a label saying Habranthus but I don’t know where I got the contents from. There were a couple of short, green, narrow leaves and little else until this week when flowers erupted from the soil on 4 inch stems with petals nearly as long.

I water my greenhouse with a hosepipe spray except when I am adding fertilizer and recently I have been misting over all the pots and plants. You can see how the spray has stuck to the Habranthus flower.

habranthus

Habranthus is a genus in the Amaryllidaceae family with species from Central and South America extending into southern North America. They have narrow, linear or strap-shaped leaves. Their flowers are very similar to Zephyranthes and both are called rain lilies.

This variety of Habranthus is flowering in late Summer (Sept) and offers a delicate touch to colour with minimum fuss. Habranthus bulbs should be quite hardy in the UK.

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