The amaryllis, or Hippeastrum, are among the most showy and colored bulbous; their flowers are very large, generally in shades of red, they are also available in white or pink. These are bulbous plants originating from South America and South Africa and there is only one species of these plants, the Amaryllis belladonna. Generally in the nursery the hybrids of Hippeastrum are widespread, some also with particular flowers with thin and curled petals.
These flowers have different colors due to the availability of numerous variants and are easily cultivated.
The amaryllis are easy to cultivate, they need a soft and well-drained soil, and in general they are repotted every 2-3 years, avoiding to put them in excessively large containers, since they seem to bloom more easily if they develop in small pots.
Flowering occurs in spring or early summer and it is very easy to find forced specimens for winter flowering on the market. Some Hippeastrum cultivars, on the other hand, bloom in late spring-early summer and this wide variety of blooms allows those who love this genus to often have flowering plants at different times of the year.
THE AMARYLLIS HIPPEASTRUM IN BRIEF
|Family, genus, species||Amaryllidaceae, hippeastrum, about 80 species, countless horticultural hybrids|
|Area of origin||South America: Ecuador, Perщ, Brazil|
|Type of plant||Bulbosa flower, lively|
|Flower color||Pink, red, yellow|
|Height at maturity||Up to 1 meter|
|Ground||Rich, but well-drained|
|soil pH||Neutral to sub-alkaline|
|Growth||Slow to medium|
|Rusticitа||From medium rustic to delicate|
|use||Vase, full ground|
The amaryllis is a plant of tropical origin, therefore in general they are cultivated in apartments in pots; in fact they can withstand short frosts of slight entity, so in the south of our peninsula they can find a place outdoors, in the open ground; while in the central south the vases can be kept on the terrace or in the garden in a sheltered place. The plants of amaryllis they prefer well-lit locations, or even sunny ones and need regular watering from March to October; after the foliage is dried the bulb enters a period of vegetative rest, during which it is sufficient to slightly moisten the soil every 25-30 days. During the vegetative period we supply small doses of fertilizer for flowering plants, mixed with the water of the waterings. With watering we do not exaggerate because water stagnation and excessive watering suffers.
And if it doesn't bloom anymore
As it happens for other bulbous plants that are forced to winter flowering also for the amaryllis It is easy to get large flowers for the first growing season, after which it is difficult to see other flowers. This happens because it is necessary for the bulb to have the right nutrition, a period of foliage development, and therefore a period of at least a few weeks of vegetative rest. the vegetative rest should take place in autumn and winter; therefore towards September-October we let the foliage dry up, and we thin out the waterings; then we remove the dried leaves and place the vase in a cool place, even a cellar can be fine, or an area of the house not heated; in this way we will simulate the winter. In spring we bring the vase back to a bright and warm area, so as to favor the development of the foliage and therefore of the flowers.
Instead, plants grown outdoors seem to be able to bloom every year; if flowering does not take place it is probably a problem of lack of nourishment: remember to provide fertilizer for flowering plants during the whole vegetative season, to allow the bulb to store sufficient nutrients to produce a good flowering the following year
Where to grow the amaryllis
The hippeastrum is considered a vase bulb. In fact, almost all species and cultivars are sensitive to low temperatures and need to be withdrawn or, at the most, extracted from the ground during the bad season. However, it must be emphasized that at specialized retailers, selected varieties are available to withstand even several degrees below zero. Cultivation in the open ground, without the need for winter removal, therefore becomes feasible in the Center-South and also in the North, especially in coastal areas or in the lakes region.
THE CALENDAR OF THE AMARYLLIS HIPPEASTRUM
|Planting||March-April / October (South)||November|
|Flowering||Late spring-late summer||winter|
|division||Pink, red, yellow|