Also known as
Hippi, Christmas Flower, Hippies (Afr.), Amaryllis, Knight's star lily
Photo by Wumps (All rights reserved)
This plant has no fragrance
More images of Hippeastrum
Hippeastrum hybrids and cultivars are perennial herbaceous bulbous plants that are valued for their large ornamental flowers, particularly for indoor cultivation in colder climates. As such they have an important place in the floriculture trade for sale as cut flowers or potted plants. There is some confusion over the names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name amaryllis is mainly used for cultivars of the genus Hippeastrum (often grown indoors). By contrast, the genus Amaryllis refers to bulbous species from South Africa (usually grown outdoors).
Common problems with Hippeastrum
Hand-pick and destroy snails and slugs as well as the black and yellow amaryllis caterpillar or lily borer which eats the leaves and bores down into the bulb. Red blotches on the leaves are caused by fungi known as Stagonospora curtisii. Try controlling by cutting off the affected part of the leaf as soon as you spot signs of this disease.
How to harvest Hippeastrum
Flowers can be harvested for the vase, or seeds can be harvested from the ripe seed capsules.
How to propagate Hippeastrum
Divide and replant over-crowded bulbs while dormant in Autumn or Spring.
Harvest seed in autumn and sow in spring, viable seed may not be produced on some hybrids, but if it is, the offspring won’t have the same charactiristics (including same color) as the parent!
Special features of Hippeastrum
Plant individually into small pots or group in larger pots spaced 20-30cm appart, use a good-quality, free-draining potting or soil mix.
Cover the soil of indoor containers, with pebbles, moss or a shade-tolerant groundcover, place pot in a warm, but not hot, semi-shady position, needs bright light for flowering and healthy leaves.
Red, pink, salmon, orange, white, yellow, pale green with some variations including multi colouring, with different coloured mottling, stripes or edges on the petals.
Other uses of Hippeastrum
Border, container, cutting bed
The pretty awesome flowers gave rise to many selected cultivars - often also more cold hardy and smaller sizes, but the most popular is still a huge red trumpet flower!