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  Care of Amaryllis

Plant your Amaryllis bulb in a mixture of 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite in a pot that is approximately 1" larger than the diameter of the bulb,  Avoid watering the nose of the bulb while it is dormant (no sign of leaf growth).

When the Amaryllis flowers, especially if there is more than one stalk, the Amaryllis can become top heavy and be easily toppled over.  To assist in preventing this you can use a slightly deeper pot and add gravel to the bottom of the pot.  Gravel will also assist in proper drainage.

Place your newly potted Amaryllis in a bright South facing window.  You can also place it in a West or East facing window, but if it does not receive enough sun, the flower stalk may get too long and need staking, and it may be necessary to turn the pot periodically (every day or two) to prevent the flower stalk from leaning too much to one side.

After your Amaryllis has flowered and produced seed, you can remove the Amaryllis Stalk.  As soon as there is no danger of frost, the potted Amaryllis can be moved outdoors in a shady location where it will receive filtered sun.

When the nights become cooler and shorter, the Amaryllis leaves will die.  At this point, the Amaryllis is ready for dormancy.  The Amaryllis requires at least 6-8 weeks of dry, cool dormancy.  This can be provided in the vegetable department of your refrigerator. (Make sure that you have no apples in your refrigerator).

In my zone 8b environment, I leave my Amaryllis bulbs outdoors until the first frost at which time I move them to an area that is cool, but protected from frost.

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Special Notes:

Pollinating the Amaryllis Flower

When pollinating flowers, especially bulbs, keep in mind that if you use the pollen and stigma from the same flower, you may eventually produce weaker bulbs.  It is good to experiment with different amaryllis colors and types.  

One day, you may introduce a spectacular new variety.  Just make sure to keep good notes, so that you can reproduce the results.

Step 1:  Understand the flower anatomy.  There is one stigma.  It is the female receptor.  There are numerous stamen which contain soft, yellow pollen on the tips of the stamen.

Step 2:  Remove a stamen with the pollen.  Place the pollen on the end of the stigma, making sure some of the pollen sticks.  You can use an artist brush or your fingertips, if you prefer.

Step 3:  The ovum will swell and eventually turn tan or light brown in color.  This is the seed pod.  It will begin to crack open, exposing the black, tissue thin seeds.

Step 4:  When the seed pod has opened all the way, cut the seed pods off at their stem.

Step 5:  Empty the seed pods and throw the pods away.  Not all pods will be ready harvest at the same time.




Amaryllis Seedling After Being Potted

Amaryllis Stigma and Pollen

Ripe Amaryllis Seed Pods

Amaryllis Seed and Empty Pods

*Note - includes hardwood and softwood cuttings of  house plants,  trees, vines and shrubs. .

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