Spectacular and fragrant, with large bell-shaped flowers of a wide variety of colors on a high peduncle, amaryllis has firmly taken its place as one of the most popular and beloved plants by flower growers. Planting and caring for this handsome man at home can be called easy, subject to certain rules that differ for different cycles of its development. And for slightly more experienced indoor plant lovers, it will not be difficult to even make it bloom by a certain date. How to plant, how to water and how to propagate amaryllis so that it produces luxurious flowers at the right time is easy to figure out.
Since they are really constantly confused and because of this they do not get what they would like, you need to learn to distinguish between these two flower cultures that are very similar to each other.
- Dense and void-free peduncle with a light crimson tint.
- Its length is 40-60 cm.
- Strong aroma.
- The natural flowering period is the end of summer – the beginning of autumn.
- Inflorescence diameter – 10-12 cm.
- The number of buds is up to 12 pieces (usually 4-6).
- Natural color – all shades of pink, ranging from almost white to almost red (not to be confused with hybrids!).
- Pear-shaped bulb with ash-gray scales, slightly “curly” along the upper edge.
- Leaves appear only after flowering.
- The peduncle is a hollow tube, which is easily determined when pressed. It has a grayish-brown tint.
- Its length is 60-70cm.
- Virtually no smell.
- The natural flowering period is the end of winter – the beginning of spring.
- Inflorescence diameter – 6-8 cm.
- The number of buds is no more than 6 (usually 2-4).
- Natural color – in addition to pink, red, orange, yellow, light green, purple and their various combinations.
- The bulb is round or slightly elongated down, with a slight flattening on the sides. Outwardly similar to ordinary onions, but white or slightly greenish in color.
- During flowering, it throws out a large belt-like leaf.
Like many colorful plants, amaryllis is poisonous. Its poison is concentrated in the bulb. In small doses, it is used in folk medicine as an anesthetic, and arrowheads lubricated with it became deadly among African natives.
The ancestor of almost all today’s breeding hybrids is the amaryllis Belladonna. Thanks to breeders, it was possible to obtain varieties with a completely uncharacteristic color of inflorescences, including variegated, as well as terry varieties and flowers with narrow petals. Among all this diversity, it is possible to single out the varieties that have gained the greatest popularity.
Blooming in single inflorescences
- Rosalie – snow-white on the outside, the buds open with a delicate salmon color with a white coating along the edge and center of the petals.
- Black Pearl – dark cherry with a beetroot sheen and black-purple venation.
- Lemon Lime – green at the base of the petals with a transition to a light lime, slightly lemon shade.
With terry inflorescences
- Double Dragon is dark red with occasional light strokes.
- Macarena – white petals dotted with pink longitudinal strokes.
- Merry Christmas is snow white.
With variegated flowers
- Estella – purple-pink with a clear white stripe in the center of the petals. The base of the bud is greenish, with a caramel-orange halo.
- Neon – non-double, pale pink with white streaks and a green-white throat.
- Red-white – double, with a color distribution from greenish-white at the throat to blood-red at the edges.
- Chico is incredibly spectacular with amazing shapes, which are undoubtedly the main thing that attracts attention and against which the coloring of muted tones fades into the background.
- Santana – non-double, narrow, combined with salmon and lime.
- Lima – with overall luxurious flowers in green-purple stripes.
Life cycle specifics
Amaryllis is native to South Africa, where spring coincides with our autumn. It is at this time that the flowering period falls. It is no coincidence that he received the name “Easter lily” from the locals. Having gained strength over the winter (we have over the summer), the bulb releases a peduncle, and the plant begins to bloom. At home, flowering lasts about 1.5 months, and only after it is completed, elastic leathery leaves appear and begin to grow from the ground. They will be like this throughout the winter, and as soon as they begin to fade and lose elasticity, this means that a dormant period begins.
Particularly strong specimens recover much faster and can bloom twice a year. However, often after that they can go “to rest” for two terms and not bloom at all.
How to grow amaryllis so that it blooms at the desired time?
You can change the timing of the life cycle as you wish, and even make it bloom by the scheduled date. Of course, this will not be a specific day, but taking 2 weeks for a reserve, you can achieve what you want. To do this, you need to “wake up” the bulb 6-7 weeks before the desired date, planting it and placing it in a warm and bright place. Irrigation at this stage will be discussed separately.
Important! The required minimum rest before planting should be at least 1.5-2 months!
Florists consider this flower to be easily grown. The basic rules of care are really standard for flowering houseplants. The main difficulty is changing cycles and caring for amaryllis after flowering.
You can use a ready-made substrate for indoor flowers, or you can prepare the soil mixture yourself by mixing peat, coarse sand, leaf and / or soddy soil, humus and peat in equal proportions. It doesn’t matter if one of the items listed is missing.
Site selection and lighting
At the time of active growth and budding, the pot must be placed in a well-lit place, and this condition is mandatory. When the dormant period comes, the plant should “move” to a dark and cool place. The ideal place for him would be a cellar. If a transplant is scheduled for a given year, the bulb is dug out of the ground.
Watering is one of the most important components of care when growing amaryllis, and it directly depends on the life cycle of the specimen. During the active growing season, it should be watered as soon as the earthen ball dries up. As soon as the wilting of the leaves indicates the onset of a dormant period, watering is reduced, but not immediately, but by postponing it for 1-2 days after the substrate has dried. Then it is completely stopped. Nevertheless, even a flower placed in the basement needs to be checked from time to time for acidification of the soil and moistened every 1-1.5 months to avoid complete drying.
When the plant begins to produce a peduncle, watering is not started immediately, but after waiting until it stretches about 10 cm. If you start to moisten it earlier, you can provoke an early forcing of the leaves, which will take the forces necessary for budding.
The peduncle can be cut and placed in a vase of water immediately after the first bud opens. It will bloom for about the same time, but this will save the plant’s strength and it can release a second peduncle.
The plant needs to be fed only during the active life cycle (growth, flowering, leaf forcing). At this time, it is advisable to feed it once every 10 days, best of all – diluted in a ratio of 1:10 with water, mullein.
If amaryllis was planted in open ground for the warm season, the bulb must be dug out of the ground before the first frost and stored in a dry, dark and cool place.
Home care after flowering
Amaryllis has faded – what to do next? Let him rest and gain strength. The peduncle is best cut off immediately after the buds wither. As long as it has bright and resilient leaves, watering and care are carried out as usual. If this goes on for too long or a cycle change is planned, you can begin to reduce watering and finally bring it to zero.
After all the leaves have been shed, the pot with the bulb or the bulb dug out separately is placed in a room with a temperature not higher than +10C (cellar). It is important to wait until the leaves fall naturally. If you remove them forcibly, the bulb will be deprived of a significant part of the nutrient organic matter, which can lead to its depletion.
To prolong the flowering period, the plant must be kept cool.
How to transplant amaryllis?
Regarding the optimal timing of transplantation, the opinions of experts differ. Some of them insist on digging the bulbs annually and transplanting them into new land, others recommend doing this every few years. And yet it is the annual transplant that will make it clear what condition the bulb is in. In any case, it should be understood that transplanting this plant is an integral part of caring for it. How to plant amaryllis correctly? There are certain rules for this.
- The size of the pot is selected in such a way that the distance between its walls and the bulb does not exceed 3 cm. If the flowerpot is “large”, flowering may not happen, but there will be many “children”.
- The bulbous tuber only goes halfway into the ground.
- The best planting time is July or a month after the death of the peduncle.
- If the specimen has leaves, it is important to save them. It is a valuable source of nutrition.
- In the year when the plant is not transplanted, it is advisable to renew the top layer of the earth, leaving it at the same level.
If the plant has produced more than two flower stalks, the rest must be removed, otherwise there will be none next year.
Possible Growing Problems
- The leaves turn pale, and this is not related to the dormant period. Most likely, they are exposed to too aggressive sunlight or insufficient watering. In the latter case, the buds will also wilt.
- Leaves darken (blacken). Too damp and/or cold.
- The leaves turn yellow. Possible damage by pests, in particular – thrips.
- Slowdown in development. Check for fungal infections or insects.
What if amaryllis does not bloom, but only leaves?
This problem is the most common and causes the greatest concern, and therefore requires a separate discussion. There may be several reasons.
- Too short a state of rest or its absence.
- Insufficient lighting.
- Too cold room.
- Infertile soil.
- Bulb damage, incl. pests.
- Too young plant. With vegetative propagation, beauty will have to wait 3 years, and with seed sowing – 7-8 years.
Regularly change the position of the plant in relation to the sun if you want to get an even vertical peduncle.
Reproduction of amaryllis
There are two ways of its reproduction – seed and vegetative (bulb division and children).
Reproduction by children
Children are separated from the mother’s bulb during transplantation and deposited in separate containers. They do not need rest, they need to be watered and fed regularly for two years. During this time, they will turn into adult bulbs, which in the third year will be ready to bloom.
Propagation by dividing the bulb
This method is the fastest and most efficient. Planting material prepared for division must be at least 6 cm in diameter. The bulbs, peeled from scales, need to be cut a little from above and below, divided into parts vertically, after which each part is soaked in a fungicide solution for 30 minutes and planted in the substrate as usual.
Reproduction by seeds
The method is troublesome and slow, so it is worth resorting to it only if there is no other planting material.