Amaryllis is a monotypic (consisting of only one species) genus of flowering plants containing the Belladonna Lily, popularly known as the Amaryllis belladonna lily. Amaryllis is a native of South and Central America and the Caribbean. The Hippeastrum genus of flowering bulbed plants is erroneously named as the Amaryllis or Christmas Amaryllis.
Ornamental plants of Amaryllidaceae family are mistakenly called lilies. Amaryllidaceae species can be distinguished from members of the lily family (Liliaceae) by the anatomical placement of the ovary. Amaryllidaceae species are considered more advanced in evolution than the lilies. Sometimes the amaryllis family is included in the Liliaceae.
Amaryllis is cultivated for its beautiful and colorful flowers. The Amaryllis flower stem is erect, 5-60 cm tall, 1-3 cm in diameter, and hollow. The Amaryllis stem bears 2-5 large flowers at the apex, each flower 10-20 cm broad, with six brightly colored tepals (three outer sepals, three inner petals, with similar appearance to each other). A stunning amaryllis flower has dark red markings or different colors appearing on the stalks. Common size bulbs often produce two 20-22 inches stems. Huge Amaryllis flowers up to 6 inches across will also appear.
Facts about Amaryllis
- Amaryllis is a perennial flowering plant.
- Amaryllis bulbs are 3-11 cm in diameter, and produce 3-7 long-lasting leaves of 10-60 cm long and 1-5 cm broad.
- Amaryllis has narrow, flat leaves and with lily-like flowers borne on separate, leafless stalks.
- Amaryllises are widely distributed throughout the world, especially in the flatlands of the tropics and subtropics.
- The Amaryllis hybrids are known as Hippeastrum.
- A well-drained soil is a prerequisite in growing Amaryllis.
- The planting space should be 6-12 inches above the ground.
- Plant the amaryllis bulbs in late September or early October.
- Plant the Amaryllis with one-third to one-half of the bulb above the growing medium surface.
- Plant bulbs about a foot apart and leave the tops less covered with soil.
- The soil should be mulched to conserve moisture and help control weeds.
- After planting, thoroughly water the Amaryllis bulb.
- A mixture containing equal parts of peat and perlite is excellent.
- In general Amaryllis bulbs come to flower in 7-10 weeks.
- Grow outdoors only after the danger of frost has passed.
Amaryllis Plant Care
- Remove the spent blossoms of Amaryllis to prevent seed formation by cutting the stem off just above the bulb.
- Place the amaryllis plant in a sunny window.
- Water the amaryllis plant regularly.
- Fertilize the amaryllis plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer regularly.
- Do not fertilize the amaryllis bulbs without leaves; it may kill the bulb, which is not good.