Amaryllis: care and planting at home and outdoors

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Amaryllis: care and planting at home and outdoors
Amaryllis: care and planting at home and outdoors

Description of the amaryllis plant, planting and growing indoors, outdoor care, how to reproduce, protecting plants from diseases and pests, curious notes, varieties.

Amaryllis (Amaryllis) is a genus that contains a small number of species (is oligotypic). It belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. The famous Swedish taxonomy of the flora of the planet Karl Linnaeus (1707-1778) was engaged in the isolation of the genus in 1753. If we talk about native lands, then the territory of the Cape Province, located in South Africa, acts as them for these plants, but at the same time the Amaryllis were introduced to the Australian continent.

For a long time it was believed that there is only one single species in the genus, the genus Amaryllis belladonna, but already in 1998 the scientific world recognized another variety, and today, according to the information provided by the database, this The Plant List has four units. Many species that previously belonged to this genus have been transferred to the genus Hippeastrum, although the people continue to call them as before.

Family name Amaryllidaceae
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds By dividing a large onion or daughter bulbs
Open ground transplant terms End of May or beginning of summer
Landing rules A distance of 30 cm is maintained between the bulbs.
Priming Loose and well-drained, nutritious and fertilized
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral)
Illumination level Well-lit location
Humidity level Watering as the soil dries, moderate and regular
Special care rules After flowering, when growing in the garden, it is recommended to dig, apply dressings
Height options When blooming 50-60 cm, but not more than 0.8 m
Flowering period Early flowering January-February, medium flowering until March, late flowering until April
Type of inflorescences or flowers Umbrella inflorescence
Color of flowers White, shades of pink, burgundy, salmon or red, with spots or stripes of reddish, yellow, or pink tones
Fruit type Seed capsule
The timing of fruit ripening Summer
Decorative period Spring-summer
Application in landscape design As a houseplant, in flower beds, for cutting
USDA zone 5–9

Amaryllis owes its name to the ancient Greek poet Theocritus (about 300 - about 260 BC), since idylls were constantly encountered in his work. Such a name in one of the poet's works was worn by a shepherdess. According to another version, the term "Belladonna" takes on the meaning of "beautiful lady." Among the people, you can hear how the plant is called "cavalry star" or "knight's star" because of the outlines of flowers.

All that small number of amaryllis species that are part of the genus are mesophytes - plants growing in conditions where there is sufficient (but not excessive) soil moisture. They have a long growing life cycle and a herbaceous form. Also, their root system is represented by large bulbs. The shape of the bulbs is rounded and slightly elongated, pear-shaped. Their diameter can vary from 4 to 10 cm. Bulbs usually peek half out of the soil. Each of the bulbs at the end of August becomes the source of the formation of 1–3 flowering stems.

Amaryllis leaf plates are located in the root zone and have a two-row arrangement. The shape of the leaves is belt-shaped or linear-lingual with a pointed apex. The color of the foliage is a dark green saturated shade. The plant is distinguished from the hippeastrum by the length of the leaves, reaching half a meter with a width of only 2.5 cm. The leaves of the "knight's star" appear in March and die off already at the end of May (in cold climatic zones) or in autumn.

When flowering, amaryllis develop a flowering stem, which is crowned with a spectacular inflorescence with an umbrella shape. The height of the stems can vary in the range of 50-60 cm, but not more than 0.8 m. The peduncle itself is distinguished by its density and bare surface, its color is different shades of green. In the inflorescence, there are usually from two to twelve buds. The shape of the corolla takes the form of a gramophone or a funnel. When fully opened, the flower measures 6–12 cm, and in some specimens this value reaches 20 cm. The outlines of the six petals in amaryllis are either narrowed or wide, or rounded or rounded-ovate. A more or less pronounced sharpening at the top of the petal.

Often, the petals overlap each other, giving the flower a double structure. The color of the petals in the flower takes on a snow-white color scheme, or there are plants with a bright pink, burgundy, salmon, purple or red tint. There are amaryllis varieties that have a two-color or multicolor color. At the same time, through the efforts of breeders, specimens were bred in which flowers have spots of yellow or pinkish tones or a pattern of strokes and stripes. Often, the edge of the petals takes on a wavy shape. The lifespan of an individual color lasts only 6 days, and then it fades, giving room for the opening of a new bud. When blooming, a pleasant aroma spreads around. The flowering of the "cavalry star" can have different periods, so they distinguish, corresponding to natural ones:

  • early flowering varieties, the buds of which open in January-February;
  • medium-flowering, pleasing with flowering until March;
  • late blooming - flowers that appear until April.

There are species and varieties that bloom in summer or autumn. The fruit that ripens in natural conditions in amaryllis is the capsule. When fully ripe, the fruit opens and makes it possible to scatter seeds, which sometimes have appendages in the form of wings.


If it is decided to hinder the cultivation of amaryllis, then it should be remembered that the plant is saturated with toxic substances, which must be taken into account when working with the plant. It is recommended to use gloves for any operation, and then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. If the juice of the plant enters the body, there is a possibility of causing vomiting, diarrhea and even kidney damage.

On the basis of the most famous (above the specified species), the works of breeders have obtained a large number of hybrid forms and varieties that amaze with their color of flowers. With all this, the plant is unpretentious in care and if you make some effort, you can make it bloom at any time of the year.

Care rules and growing amaryllis at home

Amaryllis in a pot
Amaryllis in a pot

Since the plant "knightly star" is quite thermophilic, in our latitudes it is customary to cultivate it as a home flower, since when the temperature drops to -5 degrees, the bulbs simply die.

  1. Place for content amaryllis should be selected with good lighting, since only this condition will be the key to flowering. To do this, the pot can be placed on the windowsill of the south, south-west or south-east window, but so that direct sunlight does not harm, you should draw a light curtain over the window at noon. When the plant enters the resting phase, then it is rearranged in a dark and cool room, for example, in a basement or cellar.
  2. Amaryllis soil mixes independently from equal parts of humus, river sand and peat chips. Leaf and sod substrate are mixed into such a soil mixture. Or, a commercially available formulation designed for bulbous plants will do.
  3. Landing Amaryllis bulbs in a pot is carried out in late autumn (when the plant is at the beginning of the dormant phase) or in the spring months (at the very beginning of vegetative activity), but the best time will be March. The pot should be selected deep, and not so wide, since the bulb is growing a rather long root system. Also, in a wide container, there is a possibility of moisture stagnation. A pot with a diameter of 15 cm is considered standard for amaryllis. It is recommended to lay a drainage layer (small expanded clay or pebbles) on the bottom of the pot when planting the bulb. This layer will prevent moisture from stagnating in the soil. Before planting, the bulb is inspected, all rotten root processes must be removed, and all areas with suspicious spots are cut out. Then the bulbs are placed soaked in a weak solution of potassium permanganate to carry out disinfection. When amaryllis is planted, up to 1/3 or even half of the entire bulb should remain above the soil surface. When this rule is violated, it leads to the death of the bulb, and if this does not happen, the thio flower arrow will die for sure. When planting bulbs in the fall, it is important to provide them with verified dormancy conditions, that is, watering should be done only once every one or one and a half months. The normal mode of soil moistening should begin with the arrival of spring, when the plant enters the phases of vegetation activity.
  4. Watering with room maintenance of amaryllis in the summer months, it should be carried out when the soil surface in the pot begins to dry out. And as soon as the "knightly star" goes into a state of rest, the moistening of the soil is reduced and they are performed after 1-2 days after the earthen coma in the pot dries out. If during this period the plant is moved to the cellar, then it is important to ensure that the soil in the container does not sour. It is best, according to the recommendations of experienced flower growers, to carry out bottom watering, when water is poured into a stand under the pot and the roots themselves collect the required amount of moisture, while the bulb remains dry.
  5. Transfer for home care, amaryllis should be done every 2–4 years, but it is best to do it annually to check the condition of the plant bulbs. It is important that the transplant is carried out in accordance with all the rules, since the flowering of the "knight's star" directly depends on this. If the pot is taken too large, then flowering can not wait, as the plant will "master" the proposed volume. It is also recommended to renew the soil, since it has already been depleted by this time. When amaryllis bulbs are transplanted, you need to carefully examine them, remove all spoiled roots, cut out rotten parts and sprinkle with crushed charcoal or ash. The rest of the root processes should be shortened and the children should be separated (small young bulbs). When transplanting, the container is selected in such a size that about 3 cm remains between its walls and the bulb. The bulb is deepened only halfway.
  6. Fertilizers when growing a plant, the "cavalry star" should be used when it is in the active vegetation phase (that is, growth and flowering). Usually, top dressing is applied once every 10 days. For this, it is recommended to use mullein diluted in water in a ratio of 1:10. You can also feed with complete mineral preparations intended for floral representatives of the flora, such as Kemira-Universal or Fertika.
  7. General tips for caring for amaryllis indoors. Since the plant is nevertheless thermophilic, when warm weather sets in and return frosts pass, and this is about the end of May and beginning of June, then the pot with the plant is best taken out into the open air, but finding a place with shading at noon.

See also tips for planting and caring for Scadoxus at home.

Planting and caring for amaryllis outdoors

Amaryllis blooms
Amaryllis blooms

Only if in winter in the region where it is planned to grow the plant "knightly star" the thermometer does not fall below -5 degrees, then you can keep it in open ground.

  1. Landing place should be well lit to stimulate flowering. At the same time, amaryllis can be grown at one location for up to 3-4 years. But many of the gardeners, in order not to lose the bulbs in the winter months, still remove them from the soil in the autumn and keep them cool and dark until spring. It is not worth planting plants in the lowlands, as moisture stagnation can occur in such places. For a "cavalry star", hills are best suited.
  2. Soil for planting amaryllis in the garden, pick up light, loose and rich in nutrients. It is recommended to enrich the garden soil with humus and apply organic fertilizing (for example, compost and peat).
  3. Landing amaryllis is performed in open ground, when the soil warms up well, and return frosts recede, usually this period begins from late May or early summer. In March, you can buy bulbs so that when the soil warms up, planting. At the same time, it is observed that the plants planted in the flowerbed will have a longer flowering period than their potted "counterparts", and will also be able to grow a larger number of baby bulbs, which will allow them to start breeding with the arrival of autumn. The hole for planting amaryllis bulbs should only be 3 cm larger than its size. In this case, it is important that its depth is slightly greater, since there is an intensive build-up of long roots. The scheme according to which it is worth planting the bulbs should correspond to the distance between them of 30 cm. The planting depth is 15 cm. After the amaryllis have been planted, it is not recommended to water them too often, as the deciduous mass will build up. In order for the "knight's star" to start laying flower buds, rather harsh conditions are created for the bulb - which will be facilitated by a lack of moisture. However, too much watering restrictions are unacceptable. Usually, flowering in amaryllis begins when the stem becomes leafless, and all leaf plates begin to wither before the flowering stem is pulled out.
  4. Watering when growing amaryllis in the garden, it must be strictly verified, since the plant requires moist soil, but its bay will lead to the death of the bulbs. Only when the flower arrow reaches a height of 5–10 cm, moistening begins to be carried out more abundantly, but make sure that the soil does not sour.
  5. Fertilizers when growing amaryllis in the garden, they are introduced from the beginning of the growing season about twice a month. To do this, you can use both complete mineral complexes such as Kemira-Universal, and preparations for bulbous plants - for example, Stimul.
  6. General advice on care. When growing amaryllis in the open field, it is possible to leave the bulbs in the ground for the winter, if the region has mild winters. However, even with not too strong frosts, the site of the landing of the "knight's star" should be covered with a layer of dry foliage or non-woven material. If the forecasts promise a cold winter, then it is better to dig up the bulbs and transfer them to the basement or plant them in pots. This should be done when the leaves wilt and the plant enters a dormant phase. When the flowering stem of the amaryllis begins to stretch, it is recommended to tie it to a support, which can be a special ladder, trellis or a simple peg dug into the soil.
  7. The use of amaryllis in landscape design. Usually the plant "knight's star" will look great both solo and in group plantings. With their help, you can form borders or simply decorate flower beds. Often, such representatives of the flora are used in cutting.

See also tips for growing allium.

How to reproduce amaryllis?

Amaryllis in the ground
Amaryllis in the ground

Usually, the "knight's star" can only be propagated vegetatively, dividing a large bulb or planting daughter bulbs (babies). You can, of course, try to propagate amaryllis with the help of seeds, but then flowering in such plants will have to be expected after 6-7 years from the moment of sowing.

Reproduction of amaryllis bulbs

This method allows you to preserve all the characteristics of the parent specimen and enjoy flowering after planting in 3-4 years. When a parent plant is transplanted, young bulbous formations, called babies, can be separated from the bulb. The main thing is that such tiny children have developed root processes. Planting bulbs is carried out in separate small pots, the soil is taken the same as for adult specimens. It is not recommended to cut off the leaves formed from such bulbs throughout the year, because the baby must accumulate nutrients in itself.

Reproduction of amaryllis by dividing the bulb

If the plant has an adult and fairly developed bulb, then it is before the "knight's star" enters the resting phase. The bulb for this procedure is removed from the substrate, from which the leaves are trimmed with the upper part. On the bulb itself, incisions are made in a vertical plane, so that 2–4 pairs of divisions are formed. Each of these divisions should have a preserved part of the bottom (the lower part, where the root processes are located) and external scales. After that, all sections must be thoroughly powdered with activated charcoal or charcoal pounded into powder, but you can take wood ash.

Bulbous delenki of amaryllis are put to dry, and after that they are planted in containers filled with wet sand. When rooting, make sure that the sand remains wet, but at the same time watering is carried out very carefully. Usually, rooting takes up to 30 days, and after that you can see the first sprouts of the "knight's star". When a pair of true leaves develops on the plant, this is a sign that the young amaryllis is ready to be transplanted into the soil intended for adult specimens or into the garden, if the weather permits.

Reproduction of amaryllis using seeds

For this process, it is necessary to obtain seed material by self-pollination of flowers. This operation is performed with a brush, when pollen is transferred from one flower to another. The seed pods will ripen for 30 days. The temperature in the room throughout this period should be about 24 degrees Celsius. As soon as the pods begin to crack, this is a sign that the seeds are fully ripe and you can start collecting them.

Since the seed material of amaryllis has good germination for one and a half months, you should immediately start sowing. To do this, take a container and fill it with a soil mixture based on sod and leafy soil, with the addition of humus. Seeds are spread over the surface of a moistened substrate and dusted with the same soil on top or sprinkled with a thin layer of river sand. That is, the seed placement depth should not exceed 5 mm. When caring for crops, the soil should remain moist, and the room temperature should be in the range of 22-25 degrees.

When a pair of true leaf plates appear on the amaryllis seedlings, a pick is carried out in separate pots. For 2-3 years from sowing, you should not cut the leaves, so that nutrients accumulate in the bulb. Such plants will begin to bloom only after 7–8 years from the moment of sowing the seeds. However, it should be noted that even strictly fulfilling all the requirements, such reproduction is quite laborious and the number of plants obtained is very small.

How to protect amaryllis from diseases - methods of struggle

Amaryllis Leaves
Amaryllis Leaves

The greatest problem when growing the plant "knight's star" is represented by diseases provoked by a fungal infection. Usually it occurs when temperature drops and too much waterlogging of the soil. In the process of such diseases, brown spots with an unpleasant putrid odor are formed on the leaves and bulbs of amaryllis. To cure the flower, it is recommended to remove all the affected areas - cut off the leaves, and simply cut out the damaged parts on the peduncles with a sharpened and disinfected knife. Then treatment with fungicidal agents is performed. Such, for example, as Bordeaux liquid, Fundazol, or you can take a solution of potassium permanganate.

When grown, both outdoors and indoors, amaryllis can be attacked by pests that suck nutritious juices: aphids, spider or onion mites, scale insects and springtails, and mealy and amaryllis bugs can also destroy the flower. In any case, the plant should be inspected regularly. The main signs of pest damage:

  • thin cobweb or brown spots on the back of the leaves;
  • green bugs, or brown glossy plaques on foliage;
  • the leaves began to change their color to yellow and dry out.

It is important to treat the plant with insecticidal and acaricidal preparations, such as Aktara, Actellik or Karbofos.

Read also about the difficulties of growing marshmallows in the garden

Curious notes about amaryllis

Amaryllis flower
Amaryllis flower

Although amaryllis and hippeastrum are quite similar in shape, it is difficult to decide which of the plants you want to grow. Despite the fact that the amaryllis was systematized by Linnaeus in 1753, it belongs to the genus Hippeastrum. However, a dispute in the scientific botanical community, which lasted for a century and was resolved only in 1987, led to the separation of these representatives of the flora according to separate genera.

The species Amaryllis belladonna, which comes from South African lands since the middle of the 18th century, has become especially loved by gardeners, and is often cultivated as a houseplant. Hippeastrum was found much later than true amaryllis, while its homeland is South American lands. But since both representatives of the flora have similar characteristics, the latter was attributed to the genus Amaryllis.

But with all this, some characteristics still have differences, like natural habitats - in fact, the homelands of these plants are separated by the Atlantic Ocean. But by the decision of the international expert commission, the amaryllis officially began to be called hippeastrum.

Amaryllis varieties

The above has already been a description of the most common type of Amaryllis belladonna, but there are also others, such as:

In the photo Amaryllis bagnoldi
In the photo Amaryllis bagnoldi

Amaryllis bagnoldii

has bulbs reaching 5 cm in diameter. Their color is almost black. Sheet plates of linear shape, with length and width parameters of 30 cm x 6 mm. Somewhat dull with a blunt tip. Peduncles are persistent, reaching a height of 30 cm. Umbrella inflorescence, has 2-4 pairs of buds. Flowers 4–5 cm long. Pedicels measure 2–7 cm in length. The perianth has a divergent funnel-like shape, the color is yellow or yellowish or with spots of red color. Its size is 3-5.5 cm with a tube up to 5 mm.

Amaryllis condemaita

This species was first described scientifically by Vargas & Perez in 1984. The leaves are belt-shaped, the color of the flowers is pink.

In the photo Amaryllis paradisicol
In the photo Amaryllis paradisicol

Amaryllis paradisicola

was described by Dierdre A. Snijman in 1998 in an article in the journal Bothalia. It is one of two species in the genus Amaryllis, native to the southern regions of South Africa. Blooms in April, forming a group of 10-21 narcissus-scented flowers arranged in a ring. Their color begins with a purplish pink color and becomes darker over time. The species is distinguished by wider leaves than belladonna amaryllis, longer stamens and a more deeply divided mottled mark.

Amaryllis paradisicol is known from one population of less than 1000 specimens. They grow on shady quartzite rocks in the Richtersveld National Park, near the town of Violsdrif, North Cape. It is a much drier and cooler environment than Amaryllis belladonna in the Western Cape. Although it is only found in a protected area, it is considered a vulnerable species on the South African Plant Red List due to possible damage from baboons.

However, it is clear that these species are quite rare and it is practically impossible to find them in gardens. Therefore, only the amaryllis belladonna species takes part in the breeding work, on the basis of which the following most popular varieties were bred:

  1. Nymph the inflorescence is collected from flowers with white petals, the edge of which has waviness, and the surface is covered with narrow stripes or strokes of a red or bright pink hue. When opened, a double flower reaches 25 cm in diameter.
  2. Ferrari Amaryllis variety, the flower-bearing stem of which reaches 0.6 m in height, and the flowers open up to a diameter of 15 cm.
  3. Vera the owner of flowers of a light pinkish shade, the surface of the petals of which with a bloom resembling mother of pearl.
  4. Macarena the flowers of this amaryllis variety have a double structure, their petals are painted in a bright red color, but there is a white stripe in the central part of the outer petals.
  5. Double Dragon has coral petals in double flowers, the diameter of which is equal to 20 cm. Moreover, the tops in the petals are whitish.

Amaryllis varieties are also popular with gardeners, characterized by a simple form of flowers:

  1. Ice Queen and Red Lion or Ice queen and Red Lion, characterized by the formation of 1-2 pairs of large flowers with white and red petals, respectively.
  2. Maxima the owner of pink flowers, opening up to a diameter of 12 cm.
  3. Parker differs in flowers, the petals of which have a rich pink tint, while they have a yellow spot at the base.

The greatest love of flower lovers is given to amaryllis varieties, which form a large number of buds, with flowers that have thin narrowed petals:

  1. Gronde (Grandeur) or Greatness, in which the flowers are characterized by petals of various tones of pink color, and the throat of the corolla is painted in a green tone.
  2. La Paz has a green shade of petals bordered along the edge with a red stripe.
  3. Chico a rather unusual variety of amaryllis, since its flower outlines resemble a tropical insect, due to its spectacularly curved petals, painted in a greenish-brown hue.

Related article: Tips for planting and caring for your garden krinum.

Video about growing amaryllis:

Photos of amaryllis:

Photo of Amaryllis 1
Photo of Amaryllis 1
Photo of Amaryllis 2
Photo of Amaryllis 2
Photo of Amaryllis 3
Photo of Amaryllis 3
Photo of Amaryllis 4
Photo of Amaryllis 4
Amaryllis Photo 5
Amaryllis Photo 5

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