How to cultivate the Amaryllis
Amaryllis is a bulbous plant of the Amaryllidaceae family, a native of South Africa.
Some species belong to the genus Amaryllis, of which the Amaryllis belladonna. This plant is recognized for having a spherical and brown bulb, with long and green leaves, while the flowers can have different shades of color, from pink, dark pink, red, to white and with various shades. The flowers are fragrant.
In this card we will see how to cultivate the Amaryllis following all the most useful precautions to bring the plants to an optimal bloom.
Varieties with larger flowers also have higher market prices but larger bulbs produce more small flowers.
The flowering of these plants lasts about six to seven weeks. In addition, most of the Amaryllis go into dormancy with moments of rebirth during the winter. However, it is possible to “force” these plants to obtain a flowering between December and January, also to decorate the houses. Many bulbs, specially “prepared” are sold during the autumn so that these plants can flower during the Christmas and end of the year.
To start the cultivation of the Amaryllis it is necessary to start from the bulb; this must be chosen in good size and with the presence of some roots at the base of the same.
At this point you need to get yourself a pot big enough to hold and expand the bulb’s roots. The pot should be partially filled with the soil and position the bulb so that the tip protrudes by a third. The soil should be composed for 1/3 of dark peat, for 1/3 of soil for flowering plants and for 1/3 of silica sand. Once the bulb is in place, immediately insert a bamboo stick to the side of the bulb before the bulb begins to produce the roots to avoid damaging them.
Once the bulb is implanted and the support stick is inserted, the vessel must be immediately watered, taking care to keep it constantly moist, not too wet and in a luminous position but not in direct sunlight. To avoid stagnation it would be advisable to place very large gravel or expanded clay before planting at the base of the pot, which contributes to increasing drainage and drainage of excess water with their granularity.
Alternatively, Amaryllis can also be planted outdoors during the summer, in partially shaded areas to obtain even beautiful flower beds. In the technique of forming the flower bed you can choose the use of varieties of the same color or multi-colored variety, depending on personal taste but also on the inclusion in your garden or in the particular green furniture that you want to choose.
The first shoot will have to take place within a few weeks and this will be followed by the formation of long leaves. To prevent the plant from excessively orientating towards the light rays, it is good to rotate the plant every two to three days so as to have a well-shaped and balanced plant.
Fertilization is carried out every 15-20 days with water-soluble fertilizers for flowering plants. Furthermore, at the end of flowering, the stem must be cut just above the bulb. However, the plant should be watered equally until it enters dormancy in the autumn period.
If you choose to force the Amaryllis to flower in the winter period, between December and January, you will have to cut the stem of the flower after flowering, to allow the foliage to grow. At this point you can leave the plants outdoors even in the summer, in partial shade, keeping the soil moist but not wet. In the month of August the nourishment will have to be interrupted in the month of August. Subsequently, when the plants are to be sheltered, in September or October, the Amaryllis must be moved to a cool place, where the average temperature is around 15 ° C, with low humidity, stopping watering.
In these conditions the foliage will decay; at this point if you want your Amaryllis to flower at a specific time, you need to count backwards about 10 to 12 weeks to determine when you can stop watering, and wait. Lack of vegetation and water will cause the Amaryllis bulb to emit a new shoot.
At this point you can resume irrigation and move the pots or planters into a warm and sunny area; in a short time the leaves will be formed and immediately the plant will start to bloom.
When the flowers wither, restart the process, but it is good to alternate a year of forcing to a year of natural flowering.
Also remember that when the Amaryllis bulbs get bigger, you need to increase the size of the pot. Since the Amaryllis bulbs will produce lateral bulbs, like other bulbous plants, it is necessary to carefully remove these cloves by placing them in autonomous vessels. These will then bloom after a couple of growing seasons.
For protection from mites and scale insects, to which these plants can go, they can be prepared by hand with preparations based on Marseille soap and garlic.