28 November 2017

Houseplant of the month December: Amaryllis

Houseplant of the month December: Amaryllis

Stylish and sensual Amaryllis (also known as Hippeastrum) is available in many varieties and rich earthy colours.

The Amaryllis range is very broad. Alongside main colours such as red, pink and white, new colours are constantly being added, like salmon, lilac, green, orange and bicoloured varieties with stripes or edges. There are varieties with single and double flowers. Bulbs with a wax or felt coating that the consumer doesn't have to do anything to are very popular. Do stress that it requires patience: it takes a few weeks for a bulb to start growing. An Amaryllis in a pot develops slightly faster. How to identify the various cultivars:

  • Galaxy Group, single-flowered, flower diameter larger than 16 cm
  • Diamond Group, single-flowered, flower diameter 12-16 cm
  • Colibri Group, single-flowered, flower diameter less than 12 cm
  • Double Galaxy Group, double-flowered, flower diameter larger than 16 cm
  • Double Diamond Group, double-flowered, flower diameter 12-16 cm
  • Double Colibri Group, double-flowered, flower diameter less than 12 cm
  • Spider Group, single-flowered, little or no overlap of bracts
  • Butterfly Group, single-flowered, slightly oval
  • Trumpet Group, single-flowered, long trumpet-shaped flowers

Amaryllis is a member of the Narcissus family, with more than 70 species. It's native to the (sub-) tropical regions of Mexico and the Caribbean through to northern Argentina. The first plants probably developed in Brazil. The plant was first cultivated in Europe in around 1800.