Growing Hippeastrum

Hippeastrum-Amaryllis

Hippeastrum (aka Barbados Lily, 朱頂蘭 in Chinese) is often been mistaken as Amaryllis.

Hippeastrum is a hardy plant.   The flowers of Hippeastrum are red and pink and often striped with various amounts of white. Some hippeastrums have yellow, white, orange or pale green flowers. The flowers only appear for 2-3 weeks and they are unscented.  With large rewards of big and beautiful flowers for little efforts, I always enjoy growing Hippeastrums.

Hippeastrum-Amaryllis Hippeastrum-Amaryllis

Hippeastrum-Amaryllis Hippeastrum-Amaryllis

I potted my three Hippeastrum bulbs on January 21.  While one of them didn’t grow out any new leaf till recently, the other two are blossoming with large flowers in less than 6 weeks.

Hippeastrum-Amaryllis

Sunlight – Indoor vs Outdoor

While many gardeners grow their Hippeastrum indoor, I put mine outdoor. Since the Hippeastrum is a semi-tropical plant that needs an extended growing season, there probably isn’t enough light in my home for the Hippeastrum to do well.  While I have heard that the leaves of the Hippeastrum may get burned if they are subjected to prolonged periods of hot afternoon sun, the leaves of my Barbadoes lilies hasn’t been burned even been put under direct sunlight all day long.  I guess the winter sun is much friendlier  than the summer one.

Water Needs & Soil Requirements

Hippeastrum should be planted in sandy, loose soil that is well drained. Indeed, this hardy plant can grow in any kind of soil as long as it is not soggy.  A hot weekend with no water will not harm the bulb, but allowing it to sit in wet soil for several weeks will probably cause the bulb and its roots to rot; this condition also makes it more vulnerable to parasites and disease.