The characteristics of amaryllis
- Type: flower and flowering plant
- Height: up to 1m
- Flower color:red, white, pink, yellow, orange
- Desired exposure: partially shaded
- Type of soil: well drained, sandy
- Sanitizing: no
- Varieties:Amaryllis belladonna, Amaryllis paradisicola, Amaryllis Hippeastrum, Hippeastrum andreanum, Hippeastrum aulicum
Characteristics and origins of amaryllis
amaryllis actually designates two similar but distinct flowers. Under this name, we distinguish the amaryllis belladonna cultivated in the open ground in South Africa, and the Amaryllis Hippeastrum better known in our regions and planted in pots.
The Amaryllis Hippeastrum belongs to the Liliaceae family and includes around 80 species. It is native to Central America, particularly from northern Argentina, Mexico and the Caribbean.
It is a flowering plant, with a fleshy bulb. It is semi-rustic or chilly. Amaryllis is grown all year round outdoors, in regions with mild winters and hot, dry summers (rather in the South of France).
There are approximately 80 species of hippeastrum. The amaryllis flower has an infinite number of colors, its main colors being white, red, pink, yellow and orange. The flowers can also be plain or striped with outlines that vary from one variety to another.
Each flower has 6 petals, an amaryllis bulb can produce two to five flowers. There are 5 main species of amaryllis hippeastrum: the single-flowered, double-flowered and miniature varieties, the hippeastrum cybister and the trumpet.
Planting and flowering of amaryllis
Amaryllis is a very easy plant to grow in pots. However, choose a pot large enough to have at least 2 centimeters between the bulb and the bottom, and heavy enough not to spill under the weight of the plant. We opt for a mixture of potting soil and sand to ensure good drainage. Also consider installing a bed of clay balls at the bottom of the pot, to optimize drainage.
The amarylliss particularly appreciates light, sandy soils, rich in humus and well drained.
Planting is often done in winter, but you can afford to do it at other times. In spring for example (in April and May) or at the end of summer (in August and September).
Flowering generally occurs eight weeks after planting.
Maintenance and flowering of the amaryllis
Semi-rustic, the amaryllis does not tolerate temperatures below 5 ° C. It prefers warm regions with mild winters.
Amaryllis watering keeps the soil moist. However, be careful not to flood it at the risk of seeing the plant rot. It is therefore advisable to water it moderately.
To allow your amaryllis to bloom again, cut the leaves once they have turned yellow (in September), let the bulb stand in the frost-free for about three months. You can then repot it to obtain new flowers, in autumn every 3 to 5 years for an amaryllis planted in a pot.
After flowering, add a special bulb fertilizer once a month.
Diseases and pests of amaryllis
amaryllis is a very fragile flower. She fears mites, mealybugs, slugs, fungi but also strains of phytophtora.
Many treatments or preventive measures can prevent diseases and pests.
If scale insects attack the plant, you can get rid of it by simply cleaning it with an alcohol swab or applying an insecticide.
To prevent slugs from attacking your amaryllis, spread ash around the bulbs, or use beer traps.
Amaryllis can also be affected by virosis. We then notice the appearance of yellow spots on its foliage. The plant is weakening. It is then necessary to uproot the affected subjects and burn them, to avoid contaminating the other plants.