Amaryllis bulbs (Hippeastrum) are flowers of choice to take the gray chill out of winter with their audacious, sexy tropical-looking blossoms in the dead of winter! Incredibly easy to plant, nearly foolproof to grow, they provide weeks and even months of bloom indoors as potted plants or cut flowers. What more could you want?
Rising up between 1 - 2 feet (30 - 60 cm), Amaryllis typically bear large flowers, from 5 to 13 in. wide (12 to 33 cm) that contrast beautifully with the sturdy, thick, light green flower stems and dark green leaves.
There are 5 main types of Amaryllis:
- Large flowering Amaryllis: Most popular group with single flowers up to 8-10 in (20-25 cm). Their cultivars belong to the Galaxy group.
- Double flowering Amaryllis: Equally popular group with double flowers up to 8-10 in (20-25 cm). Their cultivars belong to the Double Galaxy group.
- Small flowering Amaryllis: These Miniature Amaryllis produce flowers up to 3-5 in. (7-12 cm). Their cultivars belong to the Colibri and Double Colibri groups.
- Cybister Amarylis: These unusual Amaryllis are fascinating beauties with long, narrow petals with finely striped splashes of green and burgundy. Their cultivars belong to the Spider group.
- Trumpet Amarylis: The single flowers are trumpet-shaped, slightly scented and resemble lilies. Their cultivars belong to the Trumpet group.
Since the flowers do not bloom simultaneously, the overall flowering period lasts a fairly long time.
- Hardy to USDA zones 8-11, Amaryllis bulbs may be planted outdoors (deep South only). They will bloom in late spring - early summer and may be used in rock gardens or in garden beds amongst groundcovers or perennials
- The nice thing about forcing Amaryllis bulbs into flower in the home is that it is so simple to do. What's more, once the bulbs have flowered, they can be stored and brought into flower again.
- The bulb size and the cultivar are factors determining the number of flower stems that will develop. The bigger the bulb, the more chance it will produce more flower stems with several flowers to a stem:
26/28 cm bulb – 1 stem (occasionally 2) with 3 to 4 flowers
28/30 cm bulb – 1-2 stems with 3-4 flowers per stem
30/32 cm bulb – 2 stems with 4-5 flowers per stem
32/34 cm bulb – 2 stems (occasionally 3) with 4-5 flowers per stem
34/36 cm bulb – 3 stems with 4-5 flowers per stem
- Ingestion may cause stomach upset.