blooms in spring, summer and now fall

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i've never had a Hippeastrum bloom in flushes like this.
H. 'Aphrodite'.

it's been in the ground now about a year.

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Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

it must be very happy!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i guess! just wish it wasn't sterile...i would love to plant seeds of this one.....

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Aphrodite responses very well to chipping although I would be reluctant to try if you have only 1 bulb.

It will also - occasionally - develop an offset.


mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i don't know what chipping means...although i have an idea. can you enlighten me?

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Chipping and/or twin scaling are ways to propagate bulbs. These methods are used extensively for varieties that cannot produce seeds. And since seeds rarely breed true, offsets, chipping, twin scaling and cell culture are the only ways to get identical bulbs.

Unfortunately, you must destroy the original bulb to start the process. And there is risk. I recommend you start with cheap, “big box” store bulbs.

My information comes from a book: Hippeastrum the gardener’s amaryllis by Veronica M Read. I’m not sure about the rules regarding quoting a book without the author’s permission.

Amazon sells the book for $31.46 Your local library might have a copy.

A high level overview is sterilize everything, trim everything, chop a large, health bulb to pieces but each piece MUST have a part of the basal plate. Rooting powder is a good idea. Pot the “chips” and keep them barely moist and in the dark. When a chip has 2 leaves about 3” long and a respectable root, the chip can be potted to an individual pot and put in sunlight.

My success is mixed. I’ve used this method to try to save declining bulbs. Sometimes I get nothing. Other times only 1 or 2 chips survive.

Aphrodite has been a success. Originally I had 4 bulbs. Two died so I chipped a small, struggling bulb into 34 chips. That was on 08/25/11. I just counted and I have 20 growing bulbs. A quick check with the calipers indicates one is just below 2.50 in diameter. For those who prefer circumference, that is about 7.85”.

I noticed you are in central Florida as am I. Amaryllis need protection here. Most of my collection has been destroyed by Hippeastrum Mosaic Virus. My remaining bulbs, mostly breeding stock, seedlings and chips are protected. Regular window screen helps but is not enough. The vector for HMV can get through regular screening.

So if you are going to go through the trouble and risk of chipping, I encourage you to create a safe environment for your results. My greenhouse now has Insect Excluding Screen. This also keeps out Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers which love amaryllis. It’s totally heartbreaking to have a lush tray of seedlings or chips destroyed in minutes by one hungry Lubber. Yes, I know this from experience.

Best wishes for your success.


FYI One of my pollination successes is in the thread: Great website for Amaryllis fans

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

very interesting. thank you so much for all the info.
i guess i'll just continue to stumble along. every year i get a new H. as a xmas gift from a friend. after it blooms indoors, i just plant it outside in the spring. they've all done well.
the only thing special i do is to spray during lubber season with spinosad. it works. ace carries the brand i use...Fertilome Borer, Bagworm & Leafminer Spray. although it is not supposed to work on lubbers, i read an article a couple of years ago on it and i tried it. it has worked on my most serious pests too, namely the Little Leaf Notcher Weevil. it took a few seasons but i finally have them under control. being surrounded by citrus groves (their favorite leaf apparently), it is a constant battle.

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

I’m glad you’re not going to try chipping at this time.

There is a story / myth / urban legend about an Amaryllis that bloomed reliably in more than 1 season. Not just multiple scapes, but a bulb that bloomed continuously throughout the entire year. No special treatment or chemicals or special techniques, just a continuously blooming bulb.

Part of the story is that the bulb was intentionally destroyed!

So – every time a new bulb blooms out of season, we hold our breath. Could this be a similar bulb? Odds are that the bulb is still adjusting to its new location. The best thing to do is to treat the bulb well and perhaps keep a few records. A list of dates that it blooms could be interesting.
If it does bloom regularly, reliably in and out of season and if it ever develops an offset, then you have something very special. (and I’d like to have an offset.)


mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i have it placed between 'Cherry Nymph' and 'Sunrise' and those have never bloomed more than once in spring. 'Sunrise' makes more seed than i can count. 'Cherry Nymph' was only planted this past spring so i can't comment on that one other than it bloomed over the winter and then again after i planted it.

i will let you know what 'Aphrodite' does in 2014. i'll be sure to keep records.
thanks so much.

ps. fyi: all of these came from Whiteflower Farm.

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

White Flower Farm is one of the best importers there is. Sometimes I give in to lower prices elsewhere and always have received lower quality bulbs. WFF also has the best accuracy in my experience. I have bought numerous bulbs from them and received only 1 mislabeled bulb. Then there are companies with up to 75% mislabeled bulbs.

I’d love to see a photo of your "Sunrise". I’ve never seen it listed. A friend gave me a “Sunset” a couple of years ago when she moved away. She said it was rare... I’ve never seen it listed either.

I’m not buying anything at the moment. HMV has destroyed my original business plan. My nursery inspector said I could still sell in Florida since HMV is so common here but I can’t in good conscience do that. I’m afraid a bulb the “appears healthy” could still be the source of HMV infection in someone else’s garden. I can’t risk that.

So I’m doing a self-imposed quarantine for probably a year or more until I’m sure my remaining plants are healthy.


mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i'll have to see if i can find one. i just deleted a ton of pictures and i had so many of that one but now....rats......

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i found one i put in PF:

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Large single orange with scattered patchs of yellow? Deep red/orange throat? Some more yellow than orange?

That is unique!

Are there any offsets?

If my description is correct, may I reserve an offset for a future date?


mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

what exactly is an offset? is it a "pup"/bulb or is it a plant that grows off of a stem like a daylily does sometimes?

also, would a seed transfer the same traits? this one is a prolific seeder. i've started many plants from this one....2 yrs. from seed to flower.

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Yes, an offset is a pup. It's attached at the Basal Plate. Sometimes it's within the tunic but more commonly it is outside the tunic. Frequently they are aligned with the scapes not always.

Some people will "break" off an offset once it is walnut size, has good leaves and its own roots.
I dislike anything that creates a "wound" so I let the bulbs decide when best to separate.

I have data from a set of identical bulbs that seems to indicate all the bulbs will grow better if allowed to separate of their own accord. It's hard to test this notion because I rarely have matched sets of bulbs of the same variety, same age, same size and same condition.

Offsets are valuable because they are identical to the parent. They are true clones.

Seeds are a whole 'nother story. Almost all of our modern amaryllis are decendants of a cross of 2 species in the mid 18th century. One of the first, but not necessarily the only cross, was of H. reginae and H. vittatum resulting in H. 'Johnsonii’ so named for the English watchmaker who created the cross.

Notice that species do not have the single quotes with their name but cultivars do.

Everything after that has been more crosses. Species are not commonly available with the exception of H. papilio which is sometimes referred to a Butterfly Amaryllis.

So our modern bulbs are crosses of crosses of crosses of crosses. Think of a Labradoodle being crossed with a Collie-Shepard mix. Now breed all the offspring together and add in some new varieties like a Boxer and a Dobie and maybe a Sheepdog. Continue for 150 years.

Bottom line is that seeds to not breed true.

That’s why the commercial bulb industry uses chipping, twin scaling and tissue culture. That produces numerous true clones very quickly.

I noticed your photo indicates your bulbs are outside. You have no idea what pollen created your seeds. You mentioned the bulb is a prolific seeder. That tends to indicate pollen from a different bulb. Actually – in theory - each ova could be pollinated from a different source. And since the generic material within each bulb is so mixed, each grain of pollen and each ova can and probably is unique.

And so we get lovely new hybrids!


mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

wow, so much to know on just one genus. it's pretty mind boggling!

the story on 'Sunrise' is that it was the first one planted in that area. there were no other bulbs around anywhere except for some noids i dug up when we first moved here 9 years ago. i moved them to another spot and then another and then another.....i think they're finally happy in their latest spot-but they weren't close to 'Sunrise'. then i got H. papilio. it bloomed the first year and then nothing since until spring of 2013 when it suddenly decided to bloom again. it is planted very close to 'Sunrise'. the following year came 'Aphrodite' and then 'Cherry Nymph'.

i had a point but i got side-tracked. oh yes, so this whole time 'Sunrise' has produced tons of seeds faithfully every year but doesn't bloom at the same time as the others, so does that nix the pollen theory?

i planted a handful of seeds under my cedars a few years ago. the babies started to come up but that area is a squirrel "trail" so they died down...but apparently didn't expire because this year one or two are coming up and growing beautifully.

i also planted another handful two years ago in another spot. they came up and have been growing steadily. i got two blooms off one of them this early summer.

i wish i would have saved all the pictures....that just irks me. i will take pictures of 'Sunrise' this spring and i will watch for offsets.
as i can't completely remember the exact coloring of the flowers, other than that they are blinding orange, i'll have to get one great shot of a flower close up and then you can decide. i would be most happy to send you an offset...shoot, there may be one now. i guess i ought to go out and carefully examine and see what's what.

i did find one other picture after doing a search on DG but the focus wasn't on this plant. i dragged it back to my photos and here it is.

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Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

I’ve become somewhat knowledgeable because the plan was to be a professional Amaryllis breeder and commercial grower. Then the HMV killed all hope of growing enough healthy bulbs to sell. I still breed Amaryllis.

What are “noids”?

H. papilio is a species and therefore wants conditions like its native Brazil. It’s not overly happy in Florida. A friend had one and it was a reluctant bloomer for her too. In its natural habitat it sometimes blooms in fall as well as spring. H. papilio has been involved in some interesting new hybrids in the last few years.

Hybrids have been selected and culled for years to produce bulbs that tolerate a wider range of conditions than their native cousins.

Each variety blooms at a slightly different time. You can extend the time you have Amaryllis in bloom by having different varieties.

Last season my earliest scape peeked out of its bulb on 12/5/12. The last appeared 6/21/13. Floris Hekker is usually one of the first. Blossom Peacock and a generic red/white stripe were some of the last.

The point is that there may have been other Amaryllis blooming in your neighborhood. Most anything that flies could carry the pollen. Butterflies and moths are the usual suspects.

All of my bulbs are in pots. Due to HMV, almost all are within some kind of protection. Breeding is very specific. No butterflies allowed. I tend to pollinate only 1 flower per bulb because creating seeds in an exhausting process. Bulbs lose mass when they are blooming. 15 – 20% is common. Seed production can cause loss of 40% of the original mass of the bulb. I record the bulb size when a scape is first noted. After the seed pod is harvested – or opens and the seeds scatter naturally – then the bulb spends the summer recovering.

Too many seeds can deplete the bulb and it skips blooming for a year or two.

Even when I grew bulbs outside, unprotected, I protected seedlings for a year or two.

Sometimes I think Amaryllis grows slower in pots but there’s less insect and squirrel damage.

Seed grown bulbs that bloom in 2 years are good. Many are far slower. Large commercial growers cull the seedlings that don’t bloom soon enough. Sometimes I wonder what “treasures’ have been culled...

Photos: Take plenty but save only the best 2 or 3 per bulb.


mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

a noid is just a no name...until it is identified. i've never taken pictures of the blooms but if they bloom next year, i'll take pictures of those too. i do remember them being a very light color. interestingly, that was a case of blooming better in a pot. they were planted under my water spigot when i moved here and i dug them up and potted them outside. they were so happy but quickly outgrew the pot. i re-located them several times over the years but they weren't happy. this year i finally went out and rescued them and put them in a place i think they'll like, so we'll see.

i checked on 'Sunrise' and where there initially was only the one bulb, now there are three. they are large and separated. one of them has your name on it. when they bloom (IF they bloom/plants are never a sure thing), i will take really good pictures of each bulb's blooms. you can pick the one you want.

East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

Sunrise: today I transplanted a few seedlings to individual pots. perhaps in spring of 2015 I will be able to transplant inground to my PMO bed.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

hey nery! are those from the seeds i gave you? be patient as they will take a year or two to bloom but you won't regret the wait!

i need to take more pictures today but this was H. papilio a few weeks ago....can't believe it's bloomed two years in a row. the other picture is H. 'Aphrodite'. she's blooming now (as are the others). each of her flowers are as big as a luncheon plate. i need to get pictures of 'Sunrise' anyway for wyck.

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East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

Yes, they are and I will be patient. I tried papilio 3 times and failed which is strange since I grow bunch other hippies. Yours look bueno!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

lol, thanks.
i almost pulled it out last year and then it bloomed. i think it's trying to be good!

@ wyck: 'Sunrise' has no yellow at all in it; it's one solid mass of orange. :-( not all bulbs have bloomed yet though. will keep looking as they mature.
pictures are 'Sunrise' and 'Cherry Nymph' and grouping.

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