Hippeastrum in Summer

As soon as it’s warm enough each year, I put all my hippeastrum (amaryllis) under the pecan tree in the yard–Usually all are done blooming then and are growing their leaves–After a few months they go in the sun for the summer, as here on the deck steps–I love the big, strap-like leaves–Massing the pots together emphasizes their lushness–Some of these plants are 3 ft high–

In august I’ll stop watering them, lay them under the deck on their sides, and let the foliage die–In November it’s time to start over–


Amaryllis Apple Blossom

After summering him outdoors last year and nice winter rest, I’ve brought my amaryllis (Hippeastrum) ‘Apple Blossom’ into bloom:


The stalk is 24 inches tall and the flower as big as my hand–8″ vertically and 7″ horizontally–


There are two blooms, one fully open and the second almost–And there are two more on the way–‘Apple blossom’ is a fairly common, but beautiful Hippeastrum cultivar–


True Amaryllis is a south African bulb grown outdoors–This one, and all the Christmas-blooming ones sold in this country as amaryllis are in fact the South American Hippeastrum–Both are beautiful–


I prefer having them bloom in the middle of winter as opposed to Christmas–So I leave them outside very late in the year for maximum nourishment, then rest–


Never toss an amaryllis after blooming–Cut the spent stalk and treat it like a house plant until you can move it outdoors for the summer–In the fall, stop watering and allow the leaves to wither–Once dead, cut the leaves away and put the entire pot in a bag, close it up and lay it on its side in a cool dark place for a several months–


About 5 weeks before you want it to bloom, take the pot and put it near a sunny window–You can also repot the bulb if you like–Water it just slightly and let it sit for a week or so without watering again–When buds appear, water sparingly, increasing the water as the plant develops–I keep mine on the dry side–I think they do better with a little less water–


Blooming plants en masse in the kitchen–In the background you can see the confused Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) with buds–