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Last Update 12/05/11
Plant of the Month



Pictured below is the large flowering African Hippeastrum 'Merry Christmas'.

Amaryllis, Hippeastrum 'Merry Christmas'


This amaryllis bears eye-catching, red single blooms with a sparkling velvety sheen (the bluish color is caused by the flash from a digital camera and not part of the plant's coloration). The increasingly popular African strain produces huge, beautiful flowers on shorter, sturdier stems. Once potted they generally require only 4 to 6 weeks to begin blooming. Each bulb will produce up to 3 stems and eleven flowers.



Unfortunately the photo does not give justice to the true color of the flower which is more of a breath-taking deep red. FloridaGardener rates this flower highly!

The Amaryllis is native to South America and the plant pictured above was bred by Hadeco of South Africa. Of the family Amaryllidaceae it is cultivated for its beautiful and colorful flowers.

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   Amaryllis

Botanical Name:   Amaryllis Hippeastrum

Family:  Amaryllidaceae

Plant Type:  Large perennial flower from bulb.

Origin: South America

Zones: 8 - 10

Height:  1' to 2'

Rate of Growth: Slow from seed

Salt Tolerance: Low

Soil Requirements:  Rich, moist, but well-drained soil

Water Requirements: Medium drought tolerance

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly, side dressings of composted manure

Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade (plants bloom poorly in excessive shade).

Form:  Clump forming herb

Leaves:  12" long, rich green. Plants need winter rest -- leaves may die back to the ground, but no need to lift in Florida

Flowers: Often large, funnel-shaped, showy; red, orange, pink, green, white, peach, yellow

Fruits: Globe shaped capsule which bursts revealing large seeds.

Pests or diseases:  Tolerant of most pests and diseases

Uses:  Cut flowers, can be used in beds, low borders, patio pots or planters, ground cover, mass planting, naturalizing, also as indoor house plants

Bad Habits: 

Cost:  $$ -- Very reasonable

Propagation:  Division of bulbs or by seed

Sources:  Betrocks Florida Plant GuideTAYLOR'S GUIDE TO BULBS



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