Hippeastrums hail from the tropics of South America. It has long been a mainstay in tropical gardens, where they thrive in the warm, wet, frost free conditions. The large, bright flowers are extremely showy and look fantastic in mass plantings and pots. Their hardy nature in these climes has made them famous, anything that thrives on neglect is worth planting in my books! On the flip side, if you live in cool climates that have frost, Hippeastrums are more work, they require laborious digging each year, or can only be grown in pots, limiting their star potential. Well, put down that spade, because there is a new Hippeastrum in town!
Sonatini Hippeastrums were developed by Dutch breeders using cold resistant species of the same family. They are more compact than traditional Hippeastrums, growing 30-40cm high and 10-15cm across, but have just as much flower power.
Sonatini Hippeastrums look amazing in gardens, pots and vases. From planting, you can expect your blooms in 6-8 weeks, with multiple flower heads from each bulb.
Sonatini Hippeastrums can be grown from the cools of Tassie to the tropical climes of Far North Queensland. Choose a sunny spot in the garden, ensure you dig some well rotted manure, or compost through the soil prior to planting to give your plants the best start as to ensure good drainage.
Plant your Sonatini Hippeastrum bulb with the neck just above soil level. Water in and keep moist during active growth.
In pots, choose a good quality potting mix to ensure good drainage, and make sure you keep them watered when they are actively growing.
Add a slow release, general purpose fertiliser to your Sonatini Hippeastrum when you see the leaves poking through the soil, then again when they are in flower. In pots, add a liquid fertiliser every fortnight whilst they are actively growing, for the best flowering results.
In most climates, Sonatini Hippeastrums will remain evergreen and require no additional care. In cool climates they will become dormant in winter, and the yellowed leaves can be removed to tidy. Sonatini Hippeastrums come in a variety of bright colours. Their blooms open in time for Christmas and they make great gifts. Sonatini Hippeastrums are perfect for busy gardeners, as they like to be left to crowd themselves out, so only need to be dug and divided after around four years. Bring on summer!