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Re: OT-PLANTS: moving amaryllis

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: OT-PLANTS: moving amaryllis
  • From: bills@tiger.hsc.edu (Bill Shear)
  • Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 09:13:15 -0700 (MST)

Yes, hippeastrums are surprising. A few folks locally grow a
smaller-flowered salmon variety (or species) here which seems quite hardy.
We had a neighbor for a few years who had a large bed of big hippeastrums
growing outside.  They were simply "Dutch" varieties that she had been
given as gifts over the years.  After blooming them indoors she put them
outside for the summer and just left them in place.  Each fall they were
covered with a foot or so of pine tags after frost had knocked down the
foliage.  I tried this and had some success, too.  We still have two or
three feeble plants outdoors which keep coming up, even without winter
protection, so long as the ground doesn't freeze too deeply in winter.
Years ago when I lived in central Florida, they seemed to be used by local
people as the equivalent of tulips, which of course could not be grown
there.

I keep about 25 hippeastrum bulbs growing in pots for indoor use in the
winter.  It is very difficult to provide the amount of light they need to
mature their bulbs if you continually keep them indoors and treat them as
house plants, so mine go outside every summer, knocked out of their pots
and lined out in a raised bed in the vegetable garden.  The result is huge
bulbs which can be relied on to produce two spikes of 4-6 flowers each.
They also multiply much more rapidly--and nothing stops traffic like an 8"
pot with five giant red hippeastrum bulbs each with two spikes of enormous
flowers.

This year I'm trying the butterfly amaryllis, H.papilio.  This requires
different culture as it is a semi-epiphyte.  The books say to keep it green
all year round, allowing it to dry somewhat between waterings in
summer--and let it become very crowded in its pot.

Another somewhat surprisingly hardy bulb here is the pineapple lily,
Eucomis.  Mine have been outside in the ground for three years now.
Cypella also appears to be hardy here.

Zone 7a/b.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
(804)223-6172
FAX (804)223-6374
email<bills@tiger.hsc.edu>






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