Amaryllis: Beautiful Bulb Flowers


The name Amaryllis is actually a trivial name for the genus Hippeastrum. The current name Hippeastrum, however, is the result of a century-old conflict between botanists, which was not resolved until 1987.

The real Amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna) is also called Belladonna alium and is a subtropical onion flower native to southern Africa. It was introduced in Europe in the mid-18th century and is now widely used as an indoor plant Chivalrous stars were only discovered after the real Amaryllis in South America and because of their great similarities, the botanical genus Amaryllis was also attributed As some characteristics did not coincide and because of the habitats isolated from each other by the Atlantic, there were doubts from the beginning, which, after a long back and forth, was finally granted by an international commission of experts 1987
the chivalrous stars of the genus Amaryllis have been spun again and have since been conducted with about 70 species and more than 600 reproductive forms as a separate botanical genus “Hippeastrum”.

However, the new name has not yet prevailed in amateur gardeners’ circles – here the onion flower is still mainly called Amaryllis.

There are between 70 and 100 species of Amaryllis, almost all of which are found in southern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina Few species continue to occur in northern Brazil, Peru and Suriname The ornamental plants found all over the world were originally descendants of the Hippeastrum vittatum, a wild species of the Peruvian Andes Over the years, however, various species have been crossed, including Hippeastrum leopoldii and Hippeastrum aulicum, so that today we speak in professional circles of Vittatum hybrids

Amaryllis is mainly used as houseplant which decorates many window sills with impressive floral decoration and brings out fresh colour accents, especially in the dark winter Also as a Cut flower for the vase It plays an important role and is usually offered around Christmas But be careful: Plants are very toxic in all their parts, especially the onion storage fabric
This is why we recommend a very careful handling of winter beauties.


Amaryllis is a perennial and herbaceous plant It forms an onion as a storage organ With this so-called geophysical lifestyle, she has adapted to the dry and cool climate of her native regions Their size is between 70 and 100 centimetres.


Vittatum hybrids, which originate from Germany and come mainly from Dutch breeding plants, form long, bright green, belt-shaped basal leaves.


In winter or spring, star knights produce one to two shoots of hollow flowers per bulb, at most 80 centimetres long Each stem has three or four large funnel-shaped flowers, horizontal or slightly suspended, with red, pink, white, yellow or multicoloured striped petals The flowers bloom at the end depending on the more or less strong varieties The inflorescence can reach 30 centimetres in diameter.

amaryllis hippeastrum


Stamens of a star knight’s flower with ripe pollen: During fertilization, one must usually help by hand, if you want to collect seeds for propagation


Amaryllis has three phases of vegetation in which it imposes different requirements at its location During the spring to summer growing season, they prefer a sunny or semi-shaded place on the terrace or balcony with daytime temperatures of 24 to 26 degrees Celsius In winter, it is the flowering season, during which the bulb flower is the best in the region verandah or grown in the house on a clear window sill The optimal ambient temperature is now about 20 degrees Celsius At night, you can lower it to 16 degrees Celsius The lower the temperatures during flowering, the longer the flowering will last In autumn, the Amaryllis holds a rest phase For this, it needs a darker place and constant cool temperatures of about 16 degrees Celsius The ideal is in the basement or garden – provided there is no frost.

basement level

The substrate is a commercially available indoor plant soil Substrates with a high humus content should be mixed with clay granules, as amaryllis grows in their homes on porous soil with a high mineral content In the Mediterranean, it is cultivated as a garden plant thanks to frost-free winter.


in the water

Throughout flowering and growth, it is important to periodically water the amaryllis, slowly increasing the amount of water from the first bud at the beginning of the growth phase in March, and then maintaining it at a consistently high level If you place the plant outside in summer, it needs much more water than on the window sill The watering method has proven to be particularly effective on roller coasters – so Amaryllis can suck in the necessary water with their roots, without the pot ball being stunned From September, when the Amaryllis enter their three-month rest period, you can temporarily stop casting of your Amaryllis Let the leaves dry completely and let them dry flower bulb then in a cool place at about 16 degrees Celsius This foliar-free phase should last at least five weeks.

drainage for the amaryllis
Tongranulat is ideal as a drainage layer in the bottom of the Amaryllis planter


When the flower starts to fade, you should fertilize your amaryllis for the first time, then at intervals of about three to four weeks The best is a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants, which is administered with irrigation water From April to May, you will fertilize your Amaryllis in the house every two weeks and even outside every week From August onwards, stop fertilizing again.

Rest and plant

One to two months before the desired flowering date, the onion is inverted into a larger container if necessary In all cases, the slightly rooted topsoil layer must be removed and replaced with new soil Now, the pots come back to a dark and cool place and are stimulated with a small Wassergabe to chase them away As soon as the new shoots are clearly visible, irrigation water is again administered by the saucer.

New Amaryllis ampoules are generally available for purchase in October They should be planted directly in pots and placed so flat in the ground that the onion is only half covered The size of the container must not exceed five centimetres between the amaryllis ampoule and the edge of the jar After potting, pour the substrate The easiest way is to use a coaster and place the pan with the new onion in a cool, dark place at a temperature of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius At first, the soil is only kept moist About two weeks after potting, the top of the new flower stem appears on the onion Now place the amaryllis in a bright place on the window sill and slowly increase the watering rate As soon as the flower buds open, the onions are first fertilized and well watered Important : Turn the plant on the window ledge more often than not by 180 degrees, as the flower stem pushes towards the light and otherwise becomes very twisted

Tip: You can also simply leave the pots on the window ledge and cover the newly potted amaryllis bulbs with opaque containers This has the same effect as a darkroom.

Amaryllis treatments all year round

Subtropical chivalrous stars, such as tulips and hyacinths, are among the bulbous flowers Its life cycle differs from that of “normal” indoor plants: it is an adaptation to the changes between the rainy and dry seasons in their country of origin The flowering phase in winter is followed by the growth phase in spring and summer From the end of summer, the rest period begins, which lasts until the beginning of December For chivalrous stars to bloom regularly as houseplants, you must simulate this rhythm with appropriate maintenance measures.

the essentials in brief

  • pour moderately from December onwards as soon as the shoots are 10 cm long
  • after flowering, cut off the faded stem below, fertilize for the first time
  • pour more and fertilize as soon as the leaves are fully formed
  • Half shaded at the end of May, continue to water well and fertilize
  • Do not pour and fertilize in August, let dry and cool
  • repot in November and water lightly

December and January: The knight’s star is poured moderately onto the saucer with the shoot, so that the onion remains dry Increase watering as plant consumption increases with each bud and leaf But beware: waterlogging causes onions to rot! About five to eight weeks after planting or repotting, you can count on the first flowering The flowers last the longest in bright and not too sunny places at an ambient temperature of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius

February : The faded flowers are cut with the stem, the rest stops It is still poured regularly and well dosed In addition, you should now provide liquid fertilizer to your Amaryllis for the first time.

March and April: Amaryllis is now in a growth phase Water more frequently and keep the plant a little warmer so that the leaves develop well Fertilize every three weeks from now on

From May to July: Add liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water every one to two weeks, and place the plants in a partially shaded area outside A good supply of daylight, water and nutrients is now important because the new flowers are already planted in the onion

August: Now stop watering and fertilizing and let the foliage dry out so that the plant can enter its resting phase

September and October: The rest phase begins Cut all the dried leaves and let the onion rest at about 15 degrees in dry soil It can remain in the dark, for example in the cellar.

November: Plant the onion in fresh soil and let it come out halfway out of the ground Tip: If the plant has formed bulbs, you can now remove them and plant them separately for propagation However, young bulbs need a few years, until they are large enough to form their own flower stems.


The new Amaryllis bulbs are also planted in stable and stable clay or plastic pots with high quality soil that is as permeable as possible Also in hydroponic the onions are doing well Here, they can be entirely covered with clay balls Pour directly after planting The next time you water, you can take your time until the first green leaves or bud tips are visible

December : Wet the soil slightly and light up the plant and warm the room Once the new pedicel is ten inches long, pour it moderately once a week Turn the pot 180 degrees every few days on the window sill so that the peduncle does not lean too close to the light.


With dark red flowers the Amaryllis’ Benfica’ (Hippeastrum’Benfica’) is waiting the flowers of the award-winning plant sometimes reach up to 20 centimetres in diameter Amaryllis’Jewel’ (Hippeastrum’Jewel’) has beautifully filled flowers in beautiful white It flowers from October to April The proverbial beauty of Amaryllis is also evident in the Sweet Hippy variety (‘Sweet Nymph’ Hippeastrum) of the famous Dutch breeder, Peter van Nieuwkerk: it flowers in soft pink, also fills up and grows up to 40 centimetres high




The easiest way to multiply the Amaryllis by daughter onions. However, these are only then formed when the plant has optimal growth conditions during the summer months, ie it gets plenty of light, heat, water and nutrients. The first meeting of the daughter onions after the rest time carefully from the onions and puts them in their own pots something hero in the autumn.

Also possible, but considerably more expensive, is the cultivation of new amaryllis plants from seeds. For this you have to pollinate the flower scars mostly by hand, preferably with a fine hair brush or a cotton swab. At flowering time, take pollen several times at a time and dab it on the scar of another flower so you do not miss the time of pollen maturity. If you need a scholarship or bursary, you can get pollen from a variety of amaryllis with and without pollen from a variety of amaryllis, as well as a scholarship or honey exchange scholarship. In any case, give preference to varieties with the largest possible flowering as parent species, because their characteristics are inherited by the offspring. As soon as the seed capsule dries very slightly at the top, it is opened and the seeds contained in it are sown in a dish with potting soil and, covered with a transparent hood, placed in a bright place on the windowsill. If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on this subject. At the end of the first season, plant the strongest seedlings into individual pots and cultivate them without rest periods until they flower for the first time. This also lasts optimally even under optimal conditions for at least three years. At the end of the first season, plant the strongest seedlings into individual pots and cultivate them without rest periods until they flower for the first time. This also lasts optimally even under optimal conditions for at least three years. At the end of the first season, plant the strongest seedlings into individual pots and cultivate them without rest periods until they flower for the first time. This also lasts optimally even under optimal conditions for at least three years.

Diseases and pests

From the red burner infested Amaryllis onions

From the red burner infested Amaryllis onions

A common fungal disease of amaryllis is the red burner (Stagonospora curtisii) The entire plant, including the onion, has reddish brown spots The affected areas on the onion also soften and start to rot If you notice the disease in time, you can stop it by immersing the onion in a copper solution for about an hour As a precaution, you should always pour your Amaryllis only on the saucer and pay attention to a very permeable pot substrate Especially in the winter months on the window sill are more frequent mealybugs, mealybugs or mealybugs we You can fight them with trade preparations.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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