Hippeastrum is a tender bulb and needs to be planted in a pot indoors.
Bulbs should flower about six to eight weeks after planting, and should be planted from October to January.
Here’s how to plant your bulbs:
- Plant bulbs using John Innes No.2 or multipurpose compost into pots a little larger than the bulb itself. Two-thirds of the bulb should remain above the surface
- Place in a well-lit spot at 21°C (70°F)
- Water sparingly until the new leaves develop and then start watering regularly. Do not let the compost dry out, but avoid excess water collecting in the saucer
- Turn the pot regularly to prevent the flower stalk growing towards the light. Cultivars with large flowers should be staked
- When in flower, move the plant to a cooler place, about 15–18°C (60-65°F), to extend the flowering period
- After flowering, cut down spent flower spikes to the base, but keep the leaves growing on by careful watering and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser weekly
- Place the bulbs in their pots outside or in the greenhouse during the summer months, but shade them from scorching sunshine and water regularly
- In late September move the plants to a well-lit position and keep cooler at about 13°C (55°F) for eight to ten weeks. Stop feeding and reduce watering so that the plant becomes semi-dormant
- After this cool dormant period, cut the remaining old leaves to 10cm (4in) from the neck of the bulb. Replace the top 2.5-5cm (1-2in) of compost
- Commence growing as for planting of a new bulb
- In late September, withhold watering and let the plants gradually dry out. They may die back as a result. Cut to the base any spent flower spikes and yellowed leaves
- Keeping them in their pots, place the plants in a cool place, such as a greenhouse or garage (light is not necessary), for one to two months
- Start them back into growth by bringing them indoors into the light and resuming watering and feeding
Hippeastrums need re-potting every two or three years in January to March after flowering.