Hippeastrum – hybr

Hippeastrum is the general designation for this multiple hybrid, commonly called Amaryllis. It is widely grown because its large, bell-like flowers are worth the effort its cultivation requires. A thick stem topped by an umbel of several flowers grows from the large bulb. The leaves are tough and lance-shaped. Since 1800, horticulturists have developed countless cultivars through selective breeding and crossing of various species of Hippeastrum. These include ones with flowers coloured red, such as ‘Cardinal’, pink, such as ‘Beautiful Lady’, white, such as ‘Ludwig’s Dazzler’, and combinations of these colours.

Hippeastrum must have a period of complete rest, otherwise it will not flower again. Withhold water from mid-August, after which the top parts begin to die back. Store the bulb in a dry place at a temperature of about 10°C (50° F). The new flower stem and leaves begin to grow from the bulb in January. Move it to a warm place and start to water liberally. Feed weekly with a solution of organic fertilizer. It does well in a mixture of two parts leaf mould, and one part each of frame soil, rotted turves and sand. The bulb should be inserted only halfway into the compost so that just the bottom half is covered.

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