Hippeastrum 

(hip-pea-ass' trum)

Common name: Amaryllis

Family: Amaryllidaceae, Amaryllis

Height x width: 30-36" x 12-24"

Foliage: basal, linear or strap shaped, arching, dark green to 30" long and 2" wide, from large bulb 3-6" across

Flowers: 2-3 or up to 6 funnel-shaped blossoms per stalk; stalks to 36" high, hollow and rounded in cross section; flowers white, pink, or red or combinations; often 5" across and 4" deep; flowers held generally horizontal from stalk; winter to spring

Light: bright while sprouting, dark while dormant

Temperature: 68-72ºF while growing, 50-55ºF when dormant

Watering: varies with stage of growth--moderate

Humidity: average to high

Soil: average

Pests and Problems: rust, fungal leafspots, basal rot, mites, aphids, thrips; premature poor flowering from high temperatures during dormancy

Growth habit, uses: flowering potted plant, generally beginning at Christmas with sales through winter

Other interest: native to South America; some parts of the plant are poisonous.

Other culture: sprout bulbs in late fall/early winter, often sold as "kits"; water sparingly until sprouted, then frequently keeping bulb itself dry; pot in an average soil in a pot only slightly larger than the bulb, preferably a lower profile one less prone to tipping ("azalea" type) with top of bulb exposed; keep in bright light; after flowering cut the stalk at soil level, continue regular watering and fertility until mid to late summer when leaves die; allow to go dormant, reducing water as leaves dry slowly, then keep cool and dark for a couple months, at which time the process can be repeated. Only repot every 3-4 years, prior to resumption of growth.

Propagation: bulb offsets (flower in 2-3 years)

Cultivars:

Of the several dozen generally available, the following are a few representatives of the most common and worthy. They are hybrids of hybrids and species, much selection and breeding having been done the last 2 centuries Most originally derive from vittatum and reginae species.
 
Cultivar flower color flower size flower type
'Apple Blossom' white, red lines, pink blush large single
'Beautiful Lady' pale mandarin red   single
'Best Seller' cherry red (short stem)   single
'Bouquet' salmon pink large single
'Byjou' soft burnt apricot   single
'Cantate' milky deep red   single
'Christmas Gift' white   single
'Dazzler' white   single
'Double Picotee' white, fine red border large double
'Dutch Belle' opal rose   single
'Germa' yellow small single
'Lady Jane' rose pink, faint white bands large double
'Ludwig's Goliath' bright scarlet large single
'Minerva' red, white bands, green throat large single
'Orange Sovereign' red-orange large single
'Pasadena' red, white bands large double
'Picotee' white, fine red border large single
'Red Lion' dark red large  single
'Rilona' peach pink large single
'Scarlet Baby' red small single
'Spotty' red-brown, greenish lines small single
'Susan' soft pink large single
'Valentine' white, pink veins   single
       


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | PSS121 course