Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Blue Amaryllis, Empress of Brazil, Blue Hippeastrum
Worsleya procera

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Worsleya (WURZ-lee-a) (Info)
Species: procera (PRO-ker-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Amaryllis procera
Synonym:Amaryllis rayneri
Synonym:Hippeastrum procerum
Synonym:Worsleya rayneri

97 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Light Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From bulbils

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive forestflame On Oct 2, 2013, forestflame from Fraser Coast
Australia wrote:

I have a love for this plant and have been fortunate enough to have had no trouble growing them. I find that if you plant your worsleya into more gravel and dust, a little amount of cactus mix and a little amount of sand (all mixed together) that the plant grows beautifully. I have found that it doesn't matter if you plant it on a lean or straight if the plant is happy it will start to lean it's self thus telling you, you have got it right. I always use a ceramic pot and I use the larger size so I don't have to transplant in the future. Always cover up the ring marks on the bottom of the bulb but do not cover the stem. I find if you face the plant in a northerly direction with a touch to the west this mimics the plants natural environment and it just grows. If you use anything on the plant do not spray onto the leaves as it stains them and dulls it's color. Never use any fertilizer that has animal waste in it as this will kill the plant. A good fertilizer that doesn't harm the plant is seasol. I've found if I place my plant up off the ground and at a height of around a meter or more it just seems to be happy and loves the heat in this position. As the day changes the plant gets to cool down in the night. If the plants leaves droop then the plant is not happy and needs more sunlight and needs to be placed more to the north. I have found that this is the key to a healthy plant and good ventilation. The plant must have good airflow where ever it is housed. I live in Australia.

Positive LeStryge On May 14, 2012, LeStryge from Lismore
Australia wrote:

This plant HATES poor drainage above all else, (probably the prime reason for failure and its "difficult" reputation. If your soil feels wet at all times you are heading for failure.)

Grow in a loose gravel of small stones, pumice etc. A little charcoal helps and just a tiny sprinkling of some organic material for nourishment. NOT TOO MUCH or it will hold moisture, and rot will result. Better to use less, or even none at all than overdo it!
Watering should be frequent, (every day in the heat), but able to drain through the pot almost immediately or your soil is too moisture retentive.
Fertilise frequently, preferably with a low phosphorus product. Slow release fertilizers are not so efficient as the quick draining nature of the growth medium does not promote the ready release of the nutrients.

Not fond of very high temperatures, particularly at night.
Its leaves form a very characteristic "rooster tail" effect at the top of a tall stem, facing toward the light direction.
For this reason the pot should NOT BE ROTATED AT ALL, which only confuses the plant and will delay, if not prevent flowering altogether.
The leaves die progressively from the older ones, leaving the long neck of the bulb sheathed in papery protective layers. You can easily remove the older leaves as they die and also some of the sheaths if they become unsightly.

New plants (pups) are formed around the base of the bulb, which should never be allowed to become buried by the growing medium or it will rot. I like to be able to see the tops of the roots quite clearly.
Is prone to mealy bugs lurking way down in the centre of the leaves, so check very carefully and use a systemic insecticide if detected.
I believe it will produce fertile self-seed, but the progeny of self-fertilization are apparently short lived.
It's far better to divide the pups off if you are hoping to increase your plants. The plant can be tipped out of the gravel without much harm during the dormant period, and the new pups teased off with their roots attached.
When potting up always place the plant on a slight lean in the direction the leaves fall. This is the way they prefer in the wild.
The key element to success with this plant is the growing medium. Commercial potting mix, however good, just will NOT do. It holds way too much water.
Better to make you own with loose gravel etc.

Positive unccgardener On Dec 7, 2010, unccgardener from Charlotte, NC wrote:

This is my second atempt at growing this plant, the first time I purchased a good sized plant but it rotted in transit from the UK. I purchased my second plant, a mature Worsleya Procera with an extensive root system in the Spring of 2010. It was expensive but I had really been wanting one I have the Worsleya growing in a 8 inch clay pot with a saucer underneath it. It is growing in Dynagrow- Dynarok as the growing medium and the plant is about a foot in height .It is located in bright indirect light near a window where it gets bright light all day. I do turn the pot once a month to keep the plant growing as straight as possible. I water the plant thoroughly about three times a week in winter and twice a week in summer indoors, and mist it occasionally. I also give it a good liquid feed with Miracle Grow (yes Miracle Grow) every couple months. At first the plant was slow and I lost a few lower leaves when they turned yellow, then dried up and fell off. I was worried but soon realized this is how the plant grows, no sooner does a lower leaf fall when a new one replaces it at the top. In fact, dispite what I had heard about this species, I have actually found this plant relatively easy to grow and it shoots out a new leaf every two weeks or so. On average the plant has about 8-10 leaves at any given time. I have been pleased so far with this plant and would reccomend it highly to anyone as a house plant. From my personal experience I would not invest in a plant wthout an esablished root system unless you've grown it this way before. I would grow from seed, an established potted plant or a bare root plant with tons of roots. I am anxiously awaiting the bloom someday and will keep you all updated. I hope this helps someone growing this plant.

Neutral macybee On Dec 1, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This genus, closely allied to HIPPEASTRUM, consists of only one species. The fat bulb has a long neck protruding above the ground, topped by a few strap-shaped leaves; in winter a short-stemmed cluster of large trumpet-shaped flowers emerges from the leafless bulb.
This species was discovered on a mountainside near Rio de Janeiro in 1860, but it was not until 1899 that it was introduced to gardens by the Englishman whose name it bears, Arthington Worsley (1861-1943); it remains an expensive rarity. In the wild it grows in crevices of granite cliffs, the long bulb necks lifting the flowers into the air and sunshine. The color of the 4" wide trumpets varies, from almost white to deep lilac-blue, sometimes with spotted petals.
ZONES: 10-12
This bulb needs a subtropical climate (or warm greenhouse), full sun and perfect drainage. Most gardeners grow it in tall pots, the favored potting mix being a combination of granite chips with a little compost. NEVER allow the soil to dry out. Propagate from seed in spring.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cerritos, California
Simi Valley, California
Boynton Beach, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Vinton, Louisiana
Bronx, New York
Tacoma, Washington

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