Big red trumpets with bright white flares. Each bloom stretches 10-15cm across and most often more than one to a stem. Established bulbs can produce numerous stems.
Hippeastrums are extroverts; their large, eye catching flowers open on tall, straight stems to oohs and aahs in summer. They are simple to care for, last well in gardens or pots as well as cut for indoor displays.
In pots, they can be moved to centre stage when in bloom, and hidden behind the shed in winter dormancy.
Hippeastrums grow best in humus rich, moist, well drained soils. Though well drained is the most important factor. In too much shade they won’t produce flowers, so it is best to aim for a sunny spot.
Hippeastrum are semi evergreen and will go dormant in cool climates, where they should be protected from frosts – either lifted or grown in pots. You can grow them individually (pots 15-20cm across and the same deep) in pots, or group a few together in larger containers. Make sure your pots have adequate drainage holes, as they tend to rot if left to sit in water. Water sparingly until they begin to grow, then allow the soil to almost dry out between watering.
Generally red varieties flower first and white last, with the rest of the spectrum in between. Depending on when you purchase your bulb and where you live, the amount of light and the variety, bulbs take 4-12 weeks to grow.
If you grow your Hippeastrums in pots, don’t forget to turn them occasionally so the stems stay lovely and straight. Once in full bloom, ideally move your pot out of the hot sun so your flowers last that little bit longer.
Remove spent flowers, cutting them off just above the bulb. This will do two things, it might encourage more blooms to open, it will also help encourage healthy bulb growth.
After the blooming finishes, it is best to fertilise and keep watering the foliage – this is when the plant is forming next seasons growth. In cold climates, coming into autumn, you can stop watering as the bulb goes into dormancy, so it can rest and initiate flowers for next season.
Supplied as: Bulbs