Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

Hippeastrum bulbs are popular gifts at Christmas. They are often commonly, but incorrectly, known as amaryllis. By following a few easy tips, these showy, beautiful flowers will bloom year after year for you.

Amaryllis perform best if sat tightly in their containers, so choose one that allows a couple of centimetres of compost around the bulb. Soak the amaryllis bulb and its roots in a bowl of tepid water for a few hours before potting it up. Then half fill the pot with peat-free, multi-purpose compost, breaking up any lumps and lightly firming it in place with your fingers. Set the bulb in place, making sure the top sits just above the pot. Fill around the bulb with compost and firm gently. Water well and allow the pot to drain. Finish by adding a layer of horticultural grit around the bulb, to keep the compost moist.

Keep your amaryllis in a cool room with plenty of light as this will allow it to develop slowly, maintaining a strong flower shoot and leaves. Once in flower you might need to support the flower spikes with canes.

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