10 secrets for planting and caring amaryllis
Amaryllis, the charming plant that impresses with its huge colorful flowers. Amaryllis is one of the most beautiful and durable flower bulbs that we plant in the autumn season. This is a very popular plant with large impressive flowers in various colors reminiscent of lilies and projecting on long flowering shoots.
We can enjoy the unique beauty of amaryllis in the garden in flower beds, as well as in pots in the yard and on the balcony. In addition, cut amaryllis flowers in a vase are a great choice to add color to the home. And if we want something special for our living room, amaryllis have the ability to take root and grow without soil, giving us their impressive flowering in water, as long as we use a special vase with a narrow mouth to place the bulb. Let’s see in detail what care the amaryllis needs to give us many impressive flowers full of color and how we can extend the duration of its flowering.
1. What are the most well-known varieties of amaryllis?
There are hundreds of varieties of amaryllis belonging to the genus Hippeastrum, which is why amaryllis is often referred to as the horseradish. These types of amaryllis are also known as American amaryllis, as they originate from South America. Usually, they have red or white flowers, while now we find varieties with orange, yellow, green and pink flowers. Of particular interest are the amaryllis varieties that have striking two-tone flowers with characteristic streaks.
We find a traditional variety of amaryllis with wonderful pink flowers in the yards of our grandparents. This wild variety is known as belladonna or genuine amaryllis and belongs to the genus Amaryllis. Belladonna originates from South Africa and belongs to the African amaryllis. It should be noted that Belladonna amaryllis is planted in the spring and blooms in late summer in contrast to amaryllis of the genus Hippeastrum which are planted in autumn and bloom from late winter to mid-spring.
2. What do we pay attention to when planting amaryllis?
To enjoy rich flowering, we plant the amaryllis bulbs in a warm, sheltered and sunny part of our garden. When planting, make sure that a small part of the amaryllis bulb is above the soil. After the bulb has grown and due to the large size of its flowers, we support the amaryllis with a stake to keep the stem of the flower in an upright position and to protect it from strong winds.
3. How do we plant amaryllis in a pot?
For planting amaryllis in a pot, we choose pots with a height and width of 20 cm. We use general purpose plant soil, rich in nutrients, that drains the water well and we place the amaryllis bulb in such a way that it covers about 2/3 of its volume in the soil of the pot. We must keep in mind that amaryllis needs light and heat to grow, so it is important to place the pot in a spot on the balcony with sun. In addition, it is good 2 times a week to rotate the pot by 180 degrees, so that the flowering stem of the amaryllis grows vertically and does not lean towards the light.
4. How often does the amaryllis need watering?
Amaryllis has moderate watering requirements in the early stages after planting and greater water needs as soon as its root system develops and the flowering shoot begins to form. Usually, we water the amaryllis twice a week, making sure to repeat the watering only when the soil dries. Care should be taken when watering, as excessive moisture may cause rot on the bulb and the flowering stem of the plant.
5. How often do we put fertilizer in the amaryllis?
Amaryllis has no special requirements for nutrients and gives us flowering, even without adding fertilizer. However, the addition of fertilizer helps to form many and impressive flowers. For richly flowering amaryllis, we usually start fertilizing one month after planting the bulb by adding complete granular fertilizer and repeat every month. If we have planted the amaryllis in a pot, we prefer to use liquid flower fertilizer every 3 weeks.
6. What diseases and which insects infect amaryllis?
Amaryllis is one of the most durable bulbous flowers and is not easily infected by insects and diseases. To protect the amaryllis from the thrips insect and the nightshade, we spray the amaryllis foliage with a biological preparation of summer pulp or natural pyrethrin that we procure from agricultural stores. Alternatively, we can make an ecological recipe by mixing garlic, onion and hot pepper, as we have described in detail in the article for the protection of plants with natural ingredients and preventively spray the amaryllis every two weeks.
To protect against fungal diseases that rot the amaryllis bulb, water the soil by dissolving a tablespoon of turquoise (copper sulfate) in a liter of water. Copper sulfate is an ecological preparation that we procure from agricultural stores.
7. How do we keep the amaryllis bulbs for next year?
Once the amaryllis blossom has dried in the spring, stop watering and remove the bulbs from the soil. Then we clean them, removing the soils and place them in a shady ventilated place. After the amaryllis bulbs are dry, store them in a dry place in cardboard boxes. To prevent moisture from accumulating and our bulbs to grow prematurely, we make small holes in the boxes or put in a little perlite that absorbs moisture. In this way, we are ready to keep the amaryllis bulbs until the autumn when we will replant them.
8. In what ways is amaryllis multiplied?
We can create new amaryllis plants in 2 ways: a) using seed and b) with small bulbs (bulbs) that grow gradually next to the mother bulb during the growing period of the plant.
9. Does amaryllis grow in water?
Amaryllis, like hyacinth, can be grown without soil and grown in water to give us its impressive flowers. To achieve this, we use a special jar which has a narrow mouth to place the amaryllis bulb. The mouth is very close to the water and, gradually, the amaryllis bulb shows roots entering the water. Then, the flowering stem of the amaryllis and its wonderful flower grow, giving us a unique aesthetic result.
10. And one last secret for the care of amaryllis
We can prolong the flowering of the amaryllis for several days, removing with a pair of tweezers the yellow anthers from the flower stalks, before scattering their pollen.