Hippeastrum 'vittatum' hybrid, aka Commercial Amaryllis, is a large bulb producing spectacular trumpet-shaped blooms on hollow stalks. The hybrid was developed from Peruvian Andes species. Its parentage includes H. leopoldii, reginae, aulicum, solandriflorum and reticulatum. The large strap shaped leaves reach up to 3 foot (0.9 m) tall by 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. They are very easy to grow and make spectacular house plants.
Blooming: In our greenhouse, the bulbs bloom in late winter to early spring. The trumpet shaped flowers are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long.
Culture: Hippeastrum 'vittatum' hybrids do best in full sun to partial shade with a rich moist soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand. Pot Amaryllis in a pot large enough to leave an inch of soil around the bulb- a 5 to 7 inch pot is usually adequate. The bulb should be planted so as to leave the upper third exposed above the soil line. Water Amaryllis well after potting and then water sparingly until root growth has started (lukewarm water helps). Temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees are suitable for forcing. Lower temperatures of 45 to 50 degrees will delay flowering. About 8 weeks after potting Amaryllis, they should bloom. When Amaryllis is in full growth, they should be watered frequently and fed a balanced fertilizer once a month. They enjoy full sunlight during the growing season. However when coming into flower, partial shade helps to bring out their brilliant color. After Amaryllis has flowered, it should be kept growing throughout the summer. When leaves dry out, the plants should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark location until they begin to show signs of growing in late fall or winter. The plant should be left in the same pot and given a top dressing of some type of compost.
Propagation: Hippeastrum 'vittatum' hybrid is propagated by division or from seed. Fresh seed will germinate in 21-30 days after sowing.
Hippeastrum 'Vittatum' hybrid was featured as Plant of the Week June 29-July 5, 2007.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.