We are regularly asked how to get Hippeastrums (Commonly referred to as Amaryllis) to re flower the following year.
Many think that amaryllis are only good for Christmas however they can flower all year round and we still have some bulbs available to buy here
Hippeastrums are amongst one of the most popular flowers to have at Christmas with their big blowsy flowers they are very showy and the most recent introduction of spider forms with their exotic blooms of tepals that are elongated adds a further dimension to this superb group.
Hippeastrums are easy to grow in the first year as the bulb is nice and plump and the flower is ready to burst through once potted up and in some instances you may see the flower pushing through the neck of the bulb before they are potted up!
Hippeastrums bulbs are often treated as annuals and discarded after all flowering has finished.
They are available in a wide variety of colours and the most popular forms are the single, double and now the spider cultivars.
Getting Hippeastrum to flower again
Once you have enjoyed the flowers continue to feed the bulbs and keep the soil moist through the summer months and into late September. Then allow the bulbs to rest for about 10 weeks by putting them in a darker cooler but frost free area, remove wilted foliage. After the bulbs have rested for a period, cut any remaining leaves to 8-10cm above the bulb, remove the top 5cms of compost and replace with fresh. Then resume watering and feeding to encourage growth and re-flowering.
Hippeastrum bulbs are frost tender and as such should be treated as house plants and kept indoors. In essence Hippeastrum bulbs are prepared by growers for Christmas flowering as their natural flowering period is in the spring time.
They require plenty of light so windowsills or well-lit rooms are ideal. Use good quality indoor compost and containers big enough to give them at least 5cms space around the bulb. Bulbs are planted with the top one third of the bulb sticking above the compost level. Once planted keep the soil moist and regularly feed them with an indoor bulb fertiliser. Once the flowers/leaves start to show increase the amount of water and feed given to them ensuring of course not to over water. The warmer the area they are kept in the quicker they will flower.
One key tip is to rotate the container regularly so that the flower stalk remains straight. You should also ensure that the container you plant them in will be heavy enough so as not to fall over due to its height when fully grown.