There are several plants commonly known as Amaryllis. Usually this name refers to the members of the genus Hippeastrum. But there is a “true” Amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna), which is also known as Belladonna Lily. They are all belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family.
The approx. 90 Hhippeastrum species are native to middle and south america. Amaryllis belladonna is from South Africa. It’s the only member of its genus.
There is a wide range of Hippeastrum cultivars available. Blooming in nearly every color you want.
- Lighting: sunny to light shaded
- Soil: a regular mix or a cacti mix
- Watering: allow to nearly dry between the waterings
- Feeding: from April to September
- Temperature: room temperature from spring to fall, approx. 10-17 °C/50-62 °F to get them bloom
- Propagation: seeds
Lighting: The Amaryllis grows best if located bright and sunny the year round. A light shaded place will be tolerated. During summer it can be placed in the garden or on the balcony. To avoid leaf burn, the plant should get some time to adapt full sun. When the temperatures begin to drop permanently below 10 °C/50 °F, they come back to the house. Make sure that rainwater can easily run out of the pot.
Soil: A regular potting or cactus mix can be used. I’m using a mixture of potting soil, coarse sand and pumice (2:1:1). To avoid rotting, the roots should only be covered with soil until the bulb is half to one third sitting in the substrate.
Watering: If in bloom and grow (spring-summer) the Amaryllis can be deep watered. What’s flowing out of the pots hole must be removed after a few minutes. Sitting in water can cause rott. Before adding water next allow to nearly dry.
Feeding: Water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly in spring/summer. New bought or recently repotted plants don’t need to be feeded for the first 12 months.
After bloom: The flower stems can be cut off after it has wilted. Do not remove the leaves!
There are 2 ways to bring the Amaryllis to bloom again next year again:
The safe method: Stop watering and feeding for eight weeks, beginning in September/October. If the foliage has died back it can be cutted off. During this period, the pot can be stored in a cool (approx. 10-15 °C/50-59 °F) and dark location.
After that time bringt it back into the light and warmth. The top of the soil can be replaced with some new. Now water deeply, but only once. Before adding water next you have to wait until the Amaryllis is showing its flower spike. Otherwise the plant will only show leaves.
The gentle method: In October/November place the pot on a cool location at approx. 10-15 °C/50-59 °F. Stop feeding and reduce watering. Give only as much needed, that the leaves do not droop or start to dry up.
After 8 to 12 weeks bringt it back into the warmth. Start regular watering and feeding.
Waxed Amaryllis bulbs can bloom without planting or watering for some weeks. But if you want healthy plants that flower every year, you should remove the wax after flowering and give them soil, water and nutrients.