Hippeastrum fever

Started by AngelikaN, December 23, 2022, 05:45:18 AM

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first I want to apologize for possible errors in spelling or wording, I am using a translation software.

Actually I was not so interested in Hippeastrum in the past. I am more in the bulbs from south africa like Lachenalia and Massonia. Then came the Exchange in europe in the fall of this year and with it seeds of Hippeastrum papilo from Uli (thanks for the donation :-) ). The seeds germinated very well. I started to research about Hippeastrum on the internet.

Next came the article by Vlad on the culture of Hippeastrum hybrids in the "Bulb Garden" (and watching his wonderful videos on YouTube!). I agitated my colleagues at work and placed a collective order in the Netherlands. I now have "Exotic Star" and "Apple Blossom", which will both bloom soon.

Then I discovered the variety that fascinates me the most so far, on a older picture from an amaryllis show at Keukenhof (ca. 2016): a Hippeastrum hybrid with variegated leaves (dark green-red at the edge, light green in the center) and red flowers. On the sign underneath no variety name, only the number #1800. I asked at the nursery where I had bought my hybrids (they offer nearly 100 different hybrids). The answer was that the plant on the picture was unknown. Okay, I thought, it's like car shows: a "feasibility study" that never went into production. Still, such a beautiful plant can't be completely lost!

On the sign on the picture was also a name, which was unfortunately misspelled as it turned out. The Internet finally brought me to the name Barnhoorn and the history of the family, the brothers who emigrated from the Netherlands to South Africa and founded the nursery Hadeco. In the next generation one family member, Andre Barnhoorn, went back to the Netherlands and bred there very beautifully hybrids. He probably also sold the "feasibility studies" that did not go into massproduction! Unfortunately I was too late here, his nursery is still listed in the yellow pages in the Netherlands, but without its own website. Sonatini.com still leads to the company he worked with, but Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) are apparently no longer offered there. Since the trail on the internet to the nursery and Andre Barnhoorn ended there for me: Does anyone here have more information? I would be interested to know.

The hybrid #1800 itself remains a mystery so far .... but I managed to aquire a other variegated hybrid on a certain auction platform, which will be delivered after Christmas (https://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbsforum/Smileys/akyhne/smiley.gif) .

Happy holidays


Hi Angelika

Welcome to the Hippeastrum fever club.

The Barnhoorn family has been in the bulb and Hippeastrum family for many years.  Back in the days of the International Bulb Society we had contact with them.

Their company is know as Hadeco now and I believe they sell Hippeastrum bulbs in Europe.

See here: https://www.hadecobulbs.com/

Here is the South Africa site:  https://www.hadeco.co.za/

There are number of Facebook pages devoted to Hippeastrum and I cna tell you there are some serious growers.
We alos have a book published by the PBS on the Hippeastrum of Bolivia.

Martin has a supply, if you interested.

Regards and Merry Christmas

Arnold T.
North East USA


Hi Arnold,

Thanks for the reply and info!
Unfortunately I do not have a Facebook account, so the source is closed to me.
I have looked at the pages of Hadeco. The pictures of the Hybrids are very impressive, also the videos on Youtube showing the plants cultivated outdoors.

From another source buyed in the meantime
a Hippeastrum sonatini Milky Way with striped leaves :-), which was sent to me from Italy.

I have contacted Martin because of the book ;-)

Best regards and a happy new year

Martin Bohnet

now this sounds like uncoordinated Ping-Pong - I just wrote ANgelika to contact arnold #cause I'm only doing the book logistics ::)

As for Hippeastrum sonatinis outside in Germany: I got some from EX02, from Vlad if I remember correctly. I have no idea if they would have been hardy enough - most were shredded by slugs at an insane pace before they could even flower... those that did were spectacular though...
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)



Nothing wrong with a bit of ping pong.

The hipp is wonderful.

You grow it outside all year?
Arnold T.
North East USA


I'm also interested in growing Hippeastrums outdoors. I live in a zone 7b/8a climate east of Seattle. I did grow Sonatinis outdoors, and the very old hybrid "St. Joseph's Lily" (Hippeastrum x johnsonii).  They did survive the winter, buried under several inches of garden soil, but they are not exactly well-adapted to the open garden. The soil here stays very cold for a long time, so they emerge very late. Slugs found them and did some damage in the wet spring weather after they finally emerged.  I think I had them outdoors for about two winters, and they had declined so much that I dug up the whole bed and took all those bulbs indoors, where they still survive.

I suspect it will be up to small, independent breeders to try to breed good "hardy amaryllis" for the garden, maybe using the hardiest species from mountainous areas that get frost, the Sonatinis, and the ones that already persist and multiply outdoors in zone 7 and 8 in the South, like Hippeastrum x johnsonii.


As I am also affected by the Hippeastrum-fever, I started several tries with Sonatini Hybrids in my garden. I am living in a 7a/7b-climate (but like 8a or almost 8b in the last years) in southern Germany, an my soil consists of a very heavy loam. Not a single bulb I planted suvived the first winter because the soil was too moisture retaining, I think.  But I have a bed where the loam is mixed up with gravel and sand - I'd say a third of loam, a third of sand and a third of gravel. And here a Sonatini survived - must be at least five or six years now. I always got one or two flower stalks, and there seem to be several smaller bulbs now. Every spring I apply a bit of a long-term-mineral-fertiliser, and sometimes in fall some extra-K-fertiliser.
Luckily I don't have problems with slugs in this part of my garden. It is straight south-facing and fully exposed to the sun all day long, and they would be grilled if they would move there. And the plants that are growing there besides the Hippeastrum don't taste well for slugs - mainly some Yuccas, Delospermas, Kniphofias, Iris barbata seedlings, Asphodeline and Asphodelus.
I always thought the site would be too sunny, too hot and too dry for Sonatinis, but it seems to work.
But I hope they survived the heavy frosts we had in mid-December. In spring I'll know more...

Diane Whitehead

I bought Balentino and Pink Rascal,  called "hardy amaryllis".  I think one was blooming when I bought it, but it hasn't bloomed since.  It has produced several more bulbs, though.  I keep them in pots in my frost-free unheated greenhouse.

I wonder if I should detach a few of the new bulbs and try them outside.
Diane Whitehead        Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters  70 cm rain,   sandy soil