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PlantFiles Pictures: Butterfly Amaryllis (Hippeastrum papilio)

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shudhave
Upton, MA
(Zone 5b)

January 6, 2004
11:49 PM

Post #746179

Butterfly Amaryllis
Hippeastrum papilio
Additional info: (Papillio)

I wish I could grow these outside, but I love having them blooming in my house. They are so spectacular and unusual.

http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/64221/

Thumbnail by shudhave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

windsurffer

(Zone 5a)

January 7, 2004
5:00 AM

Post #746361

They are beautiful, this is the first one I have seen other than on a package. It's nice to know that they actually look like their photo...lucky you.
Toxicodendron
Piedmont, MO
(Zone 6a)

January 7, 2004
11:06 AM

Post #746430

These are so lovely. I have seen them in catalogs and lusted for them. Congratulations.
shudhave
Upton, MA
(Zone 5b)

January 7, 2004
3:04 PM

Post #746669

They have very different cultural preferences than the "regular" amaryllis I've grown. They like to be potbound, so I just put the pot outside in the summer and let it commune with the garden. In late summer when new flower stalks are starting to peek up and the nights are getting cool I bring it in. Over the fall and winter it typically sends up a flower stalk from each larger-sized bulb. I LOVE them and they are startingly gorgeous!
windsurffer

(Zone 5a)

January 8, 2004
8:28 PM

Post #747838

I share your love of these beautiful plants but haven't had the nerve to try one. I don't get enough light to keep them indoors or at lest keep them alive.
ButterflyGardnr
Orlando, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 9, 2004
2:48 AM

Post #748224

I love my "Red Lion" amaryllis, but this is even prettier! Any idea what variety?
Kaufmann
GOD's Green Earth
United States
(Zone 8b)

January 9, 2004
10:04 AM

Post #748334

Wind: These are so easy to grow -- I have several varieties and mine pretty much thrive on neglect. They require less light thatn you probably imagine. Give one a try. Wal-Mart was selling them over the holidays for $3.95 all inclusive (bulb, pot, soil). :)
windsurffer

(Zone 5a)

January 9, 2004
10:03 PM

Post #748922

Thanks maybe I will, it just might bring a lot of cheer to these gloomy winter months which I hate.
shudhave
Upton, MA
(Zone 5b)

January 10, 2004
4:50 PM

Post #749538

I'm pretty sure they are Hippeastrum Papilio. I agree that they are very easy to grow. I've had them in a huge variety of light and warmth settings and as long as they don't freeze or get too cold for very long they do fine. Be brave and try one! You won't be disappointed. One last suggestion: if you have a choice, buy a large, high-quality bulb. The few extra dollars makes a difference in how long it will take it to bloom.

This message was edited Jan 10, 2004 1:52 PM

This message was edited Jan 10, 2004 1:52 PM
windsurffer

(Zone 5a)

January 12, 2004
4:01 AM

Post #751006

Thanks for the advice, but do you think it's too late for me to have one bloom this year? From what I have heard they bloom in winter and are dormant in spring and summer.
I wish I could keep them blooming all year, they are so beautiful.
Toxicodendron
Piedmont, MO
(Zone 6a)

January 12, 2004
11:46 AM

Post #751083

Shudhave, do you let this amaryllis go completely dormant for a while in the fall? I have some "plain Jane" amaryllis that never seem to want to die down, and then after I have finally cut off the leaves and stored the bulbs a few months, some of them don't want to bloom. Should I wait until I see a flower bud emerging from the bulb? They make plenty of leaves and I fertilize and water regularly from about March until September, then I try to dry them out in October and November and store them Dec, Jan, and Feb. Any advice? Thanks, Susan (Toxic)

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 12, 2004
12:25 PM

Post #751089

Shudhave, that one is gorgeous!!

Susan, I put mine outside under the shade canopy of a large tree (along with other houseplants) during late spring and summer. In September, I start to cut back on the water to the amaryllis, and by October if not before, I bring them into a dark, cool room in the basement and stop watering all together if I haven't yet. I trim off any foliage down to the neck of the bulb when I bring them in. On average, I'd say mine get 3-4 months of dry, dark, and cool temps.

I prefer mine to bloom when the Christmas holidays are well past and it's become really bleak outside, so I don't usually bring them out of the dark until January. When I do bring them upstairs, I soak them thoroughly, and then just keep them from drying out until they start to grow, which can be a week or two. After that, they need regular watering. The leaves will flop if they don't get enough water.

As I have several, I space bringing them up by about a week apart so I have several weeks of blooms in February and March. About every other year, I repot them when I bring them up from the dark, washing the roots carefully.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 12, 2004
12:27 PM

Post #751093

Here's growing tips I copied from somewhere on the internet:

"I have been growing amaryllis for about 25 years now and have experimented with various methods. I have finally found one that works really well for me.

I used to grow each bulb in it's own individual pot but they multiplied so rapidly I didn't have room for all those pots. So now I use large shallow bulb pots, at least 14" across. I put in a shallow layer of potting soil with Osmocote added. Then I arrange the bulbs on the soil. I put in as many bulbs as I can fit, 7 to 10 large bulbs or more. I also tuck smaller bulbs in among them. The bulbs can touch each other, amaryllis like to be crowded. I weave the roots around the bulbs and then I fill in with more soil mixed with Osmocote until the bottom half of the bulbs are covered with soil.

I water lightly and keep them in a cool spot, about 50 degrees, until they sprout. I don't water them again until I see the new growth. If the bulbs are too wet they may rot. I water when the soil is beginning to dry out. Then I move them into the light. They need good light or the flower stalks will get leggy. The plants will also be shorter and sturdier at cooler room temperatures so if you can keep them in a cool light place until the buds start to open you will have less problem with the flower stalks getting floppy. With this system I can get 40 to 60 flowers blooming over a period of weeks in each pot. They are really beautiful.

When there is no danger of frost, I move the pots outside where they get sun until mid-afternoon. All day sun is too strong for them in my climate. The only care they get is regular watering.

In late September or mid-October I bring them into the garage so the soil will dry and the foliage will die back. When the foliage is dead I cut if off and remove the soil from the pots. (I used to let them sit in the soil until it was time to repot them, but by that time the soil was like cement and almost impossible to remove.) Then I return the bulbs to the (soil-less) pots, and put them in a dark cool place to rest for 6 - 8 weeks.

After they have rested, I bring them out and repot them and start the cycle again. The bulbs continue to grow and multiply.

It takes 6 - 8 weeks or more for the amaryllis to bloom after it has been repotted. If you want them to flower at a particular time (like Christmas) just count backward (weeks to flowering, weeks of dormancy) and bring them in to go dormant at the appropriate time.

This system has worked out really well for me. It is very simple, the pots are beautiful when they are packed with blooms, and they take up a lot less space than would be needed if each bulb was in it's own pot."
windsurffer

(Zone 5a)

January 12, 2004
9:17 PM

Post #751441

Thanks Darius, I don't think I could keep up with all the steps involved here plus I wouldn't have anywhere to store them at that temp in Sept.
So I guess I'll just have to enjoy your beautiful flowers.
sinny

January 13, 2004
12:33 AM

Post #751559

I grow mine in the front garden and as I'm in Australia the summer is quite severe but they thrive in full sun. I do nothing with them except water, I don't move them over winter (of course we have no frost) and I never cut back the leaves and they reward me EVERY year with spectacular blooms and lots of babies. This has to be one of the hardiest plants I know!
Toxicodendron
Piedmont, MO
(Zone 6a)

January 13, 2004
11:28 AM

Post #751831

Thanks Darius for your helpful comments. I have been doing pretty much the right thing, I guess, according to the quoted person in your second entry. The one thing I will change is crowding the bulbs together...I have been keeping them in separate pots because the colors clash (hot pink, red, peach, appleblossom). The one amaryllis that always does bloom is a small red one that is very crowded with offsets, but it waits until July and August, after being started in March. The Appleblossom is also reliable, but the peach and hot pink have not bloomed in 2 years now. Well, I will keep trying.
shudhave
Upton, MA
(Zone 5b)

January 14, 2004
7:17 PM

Post #753064

Thank you very much for the compliments! Wow, I have learned why I've had trouble with other Amaryllis and pretty good success with this one. I don't think this one needs a dormant period -- at least I haven't ever given it one in three years and it always blooms about the same time. Some of the older leaves do die back in the later summer while it is outside in the protected but bright location, but I have never put it in the dark or given it any rest. The pot is pretty crowded with bulbs and it always is making new leaves. It is sending up another stalk of blossoms right now after two previous ones this season. I can't remember where I read that this one was different, but the ease of care appealed to me as much as the look of the flower. I do give it a little of the fertilizer that I give my orchids now and then, but it is very forgiving.
Toxicodendron
Piedmont, MO
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2004
11:07 AM

Post #753660

Thanks for your comments, shudhave. This is not the first time I have heard of skipping a truly dormant season. I might try that method, too, on my non-bloomers.
Toxicodendron
Piedmont, MO
(Zone 6a)

March 27, 2004
11:42 AM

Post #820333

I decided not to repot my bulbs this spring, just left them in last year's pots. And look! My pink one is making a fantastically huge bloomstalk! I love learning new things from fellow gardeners...thanks again for all the comments above.

Thumbnail by Toxicodendron
Click the image for an enlarged view.

shudhave
Upton, MA
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2004
9:03 PM

Post #820713

That is GORGEOUS! Congratulations!
Toxicodendron
Piedmont, MO
(Zone 6a)

March 28, 2004
12:24 PM

Post #821164

thanks, shudhave. Now if we could just get the flowers to last about 2 or 3 months like orchids...
shudhave
Upton, MA
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2004
1:37 AM

Post #827000

If you figure it out, patent it quickly!

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