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Amaryllis Bulbs

Bulb Size Matters

Some unethical bulb companies offer beautiful internet pictures that show amaryllis blooms that can make you dream about containerizing some bulbs for yourself, bulbs that will flower in a few weeks in your home or in your landscape. Some deceptive mailorder companies may not show you what size amaryllis bulbs that they are offering to sell.
  • Buy Dutch Amaryllis Bulbs for Christmas Gifts
    TyTy Nursery ships only the highest quality of amaryllis bulbs so that you can enjoy your beautiful amaryllis flowers without worry.
  • Walk Through Amaryllis Bulb Tour
    Amaryllis Bulbs produce very large and showy blooms and make great potted plants. TyTy offers three major categories of commercial Amaryllis bulbs: Dutch Amaryllis Bulbs, Dutch Double Amaryllis Bulbs, and Rare Amaryllis cultivars.
  • Hunting Amaryllis Bulbs
    Don't miss the big Amaryllis bulb sale at Ty Ty Nursery for spring flowers. Mature Amaryllis bulbs can grow several flower stalks each with 4 large flowers. Amaryllis bulbs are very easy to grow indoors and will go dormant if exposed to cool temperatures.

Historical Amaryllis Searching

Most of the amaryllis bulbs that are sold on the market today are such complex flower hybrids called, 'inter-specific hybrids” that it is virtually impossible to trace the origin of where the original parents came from, but it is well known from botanical publications that historical parentage findings began in Africa with the introduction to the market of Amaryllis belladona, that formed a beautiful pink flower that appeared on an 18 inch stem with no leaves. Amaryllis belladona flowers stalks suddenly spring from the ground after heavy rains, and because the stem is leafless, the flower was called a 'Pink Lady'. Another group of amaryllis-like plants was introduced from South America that looked similar to the African amaryllis (Amaryllis belladona) that was called, Hippeastrum, and many of these species were inter-crossed creating the complexity of the conundrum that is most commonly called, 'Amaryllis' by Americans, but some other plant botanists wish to call some of these hybrids, 'Hippeastrum'. The botanical wizards, Linnaeus, Herbert, Baker, & Traub, disputed the correctness of calling this plant, Amaryllis and/or Hippeastrum, but because of the complex genetics of most of these commercial plants, we will use both names to describe them in our article.

Description of Amaryllis Bulbs

The amaryllis plant can be evergreen, but the bulb can be forced into dormancy early in order to market the bulbs in the fall for sale as blooming flowers just in time for the Christmas holidays, winter blooms or for Valentine's Day flowers in February. The brown amaryllis bulbs can range in size from - small to 10 or 12 inches in diameter.( 40 cm). The dormant amaryllis bulb after undergoing a cooling treatment of 5 or more weeks can be planted in pots that are a little larger than the bulb itself, since the amaryllis thrives in a cramped growing space. The Amaryllis bulb should be planted, so that the top half of the bulb is exposed out of the soil, and after 5 or more weeks, the bulbs will awaken, and a stem growing 1 -2 feet will rapidly grow and be capped by a cluster of 4 to 6 flowers. Several stems can follow the first awakening, in waves separately or all can appear at once, depending on the cultivar that is planted. After blooming is finished the potted bulbs can be planted out of doors in USDA climate zones 8 – 10. Planting the largest amaryllis bulbs will result in the most flowering stems, and the flowers will be larger as the size of the bulb is increased. The green stems of the amaryllis bulbs are hollow but sturdy. The Dutch amaryllis bulbs begin flowering on a leafless plant, but the leaves will follow soon after the amaryllis bulb is in full bloom. The African cultivars of amaryllis have been hybridized to flower at the same time that the leaves appear, with the idea that the florist plant will look more inviting to the customer with leaves showing as the amaryllis stem flowers appear. In the Southern United States a cold hardy amaryllis bulb has been grown successfully for many generations, a flower that has been called, 'Saint Joseph's Lily' and 'Johnson's Lily', and these lilies have been inter-crossed with many other inter-specific hybrids, and the flowers are brightly colored and reproduce into large clumps when planted out-of-doors as the bulbs begin flowering in April.

Amaryllis Cultivars & Flowers

There are several recognized types of amaryllis flower cultivars that all have six flower petals - trumpet shaped blooms, flat faced single flowers, double-flower (stacked rows of layered petals), butterfly spider-like, and then there are the miniatures. The butterfly, spidery petal forms were hybridized from the South American amaryllis species called, 'Papilio' that also blooms in odd colors of green, maroon, brown, and these 'Cybister' flowers genetics make them look fragile with their delicate recurved filaments and narrow mottled petals. Amaryllis flowers have been enjoyed in almost every color except, black, purple and blue. The recent introduction of the 'Lemon-Lime' amaryllis flower opens as a lemon yellow color, and then matures into a lime-green color. 'Red Lion' amaryllis have long been the most important and best selling amaryllis bulb, but there is additionally a substantial market for white, orange and pink flowered amaryllis. Besides those colors that have already been mentioned are, bi-colored amaryllis and striped star-centered flowers that can involve the random mixing of colors that results in producing many interesting combinations. There is also the Picotee amaryllis flower that develops red of pink edges of each petal that outlines the entire flower.

Amaryllis Features and Reproduction

The refined beauty and size of the amaryllis flower is unrivaled for winter flowering, and the blooms can last up to a month, if the room is kept cool. Very few of the amaryllis flowers are fragrant, but the 'Double White Jewel', 'Pink Apple Blossom'. 'Lemon-Lime', and ' Double Bi-color Dancing Queen' all emit a delightful perfume drifting out from the center of the flower. For the female homeowners who love amaryllis as a collector, she usually finds herself hybridizing her own amaryllis hybrids by cross pollinating in the backyard, choosing to take the pollen from a choice amaryllis cultivar and placing it onto the pistil of another favorite amaryllis cultivar. Soon a capsule will form after the flower fades that contains a number of black flat seeds, each of which will sprout right away when planted onto moist peat moss in a pot. Most of these sprouted seed will grow and flower in about 5 to 6 years to form flowers of unpredictable color and form, and the flowers may be completely different from the parental amaryllis flowers. My own mother spent the last 20 years of her retirement dedicated to her growing of amaryllis hybrids, each of which she treated as her own child. Another way of growing amaryllis is to remove the tiny bulbils at the base of the mother plant and after growing for 3 - 4 years, will form flowers that are identical to the mother bulb. Another way of multiplying amaryllis bulbs which is the way that the Dutch do it commercially. Cut a large bulb with a butcher knife from above into 12 pieces, like a pie or cake, and then transfer each piece into a growing medium from which bulbils will form and in 3 or 4 years, and each bulbil will grow into a flowering size amaryllis bulb that will be identical to the mother bulb.