A certain amount of confusion exists surrounding the term 'Hippeastrum', the plant's scientific name, and 'Amaryllis', its common, yet incorrect name.
The Hippeastrum is a bulbous plant that originated in South Africa - this beauty has 4 to 6 large flowers on thick, impressive, hollow stems, whereas the true Amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna, also referred to as Naked Ladies) has 6 to 12 smaller flowers on a solid flower stem.
For reasons which are difficult to fathom but certainly confusing, the Hippeastrum is known almost the world-over as 'Amaryllis' .... still following?!?
Fortunately for us all, Hippeastrums, whether you call them that or Amaryllis, are super easy to grow, and give incredibly impressive results year after year.
Hippeastrums are perfect for growing indoors, and will be blooming in time for Christmas :-)
Growing Hippeastrum in pots
- Pot bulb into any size container into which it will fit - providing it has drainage holes
- Choose a brand name potting mix (ph 6.0 to 7.0). Ideally it should contain no tree bark or fresh manure.
- Hold bulb over the pot so the roots hang into the pot
- Fill in around bulb with medium
- Firm down so no air pockets remain
- The nose of the bulb should be above the pots rim with its shoulders protruding above the soil surface.
- After planting water well and firm down soil again. Be careful not to damage the plant roots.
- Place your potted bulb in a light warm position at room temperature.
- As first flora stems lengthen, rotate the pot a half turn every day to help stop the stem growing towards the strongest source of light.
- When flowering has finished and foliage is drying down, place the bulb and pot on its side in a cool, dry place.
- Allow the bulb a well earned rest without food or water for 3 months
- Afterwards remove the old foliage, wash bulb and repeat from the start again, or place in the garden to flower again in Spring