Amaryllis belladonna

jim lykos
Wed, 22 Sep 2010 04:32:22 PDT
Hi Dell,

Just a few suggestions that could improve flowering of Amaryllis in a 
temperate climate. My own climate is relatively mild (minimum of  2 to 3C in 
winter) with relatively dry winters and year round rainfall - with a 
slightly wetter summers.

I learn years ago that planting Amaryllis bulbs deeply results in NO blooms 
at all they never never flower.  Whereas bulbs that are shallow planted (50% 
exposed) and catch some direct sun each day from mid Spring can achieve 80% 
flowering as long as some additional cultural factors are managed.

Flowering in Amaryllis normally occurs from mid to late summer. It usually 
follows and needs a prior relatively dry spell of 2 to 4 months during which 
the bulb loses all its leaves - and becomes summer dormant. So no watering 
during this period.

The next cultural requirement is that the Amaryllis bulbs are  broken from 
dormancy by a heavy rain storm (or watering) from mid to late summer.  Water 
should be withheld from mid Spring to Mid/late summer, they should then 
flower profusely.  However the major problem you face is that the short 
growing season from Autumn and winter which results in very cold conditions 
that are likely to burn off the Amaryllis leaves weakening the bulb from 
attaining flowering size.
My response would be to grow the Amaryllis bulbs in pots with the bulbs half 
exposed - remove them to a glass house during winter/frost periods, grow 
them on protected from frosts and ensure that the leaf growth is harden off 
by withdrawing any nitrogenous fertilizers and providing  applications of 
sulphate potash to swell the bulbs before dormancy sets in.
My final suggestion is to plant the pots (1/2 to full gallon size) 
containing the exposed Amaryllis bulbs  in a garden bed - this will better 
regulate the temperature of the pot/bulb and not disturb the roots of the 
Amaryllis bulb - if you disrupt  the bulb roots then the  Amaryllis 
typically wont flower for at least the next two years.

To my surprise I did manage to flower a few Amaryllis seedling crosses which 
had been left in 3 inch pots after 5 and 6 years of growth. They were 
actually seedlings resulting from single seed plantings in the small pots 
that had been placed in a  foam box and forgotten about  for 5 years - 
collecting tree leaf debris in the form of a mulch over that time. An 
amazing cultural adaptation for the Amaryllis I thought


Jim Lykos
Blue Mountains
Sydney Aust.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dell Sherk" <>
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:58 AM
Subject: [pbs] Amaryllis belladonna

> Has anyone outside of the "Mediterranean" climate had success with growing
> and blooming this one in the ground or in pots? What special things did 
> you
> do? I have tried planting them 12 inches deep in a sand filled pit, in a
> cool greenhouse, and in a cold frame - with no success except a feeble 
> bloom
> stalk the first year - and no bloom, growth, or survival after that.
> Dell
> SE Pennsylvania, USA, zone 6/7
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