Hippeastrum is a member of the Amaryllis family. This genus includes about 90 species. The name of such a plant includes 2 Greek roots which translate as "rider" and "star". Very often inexperienced florists take this plant for an amaryllis. However, one must remember that hippeastrum occurs naturally in the subtropical and tropical regions of America (including the Amazon basin), while beautiful amaryllis (representing a monotypic genus) can be found in southern Africa.
These two plants are related to each other, they are considered members of the same family, but allocated to different genera. This flower entered Europe in the 16th century, with its first hybrid appearing as early as 1799, and named Johnson's hippeastrum.
Brief description of cultivation
- Flowering. August to September.
Needs bright light, but it should be diffused. Windows in southwest, south or southeast orientation are suitable for cultivation.
- Temperature regime. From 17 to 25 degrees.
Water sparingly at the beginning of the growing season, and abundantly after the formation of the flower stalk, but without allowing liquid to stagnate in the root system. The bottom watering method is excellent.
- Air Humidity. Grows at normal room humidity.
Fertilize regularly 2 times a month. From the beginning of the vegetation period use liquid mineral fertilizers for deciduous plants, and after flower stalk formation use mineral fertilizers for flowering plants.
- Dormant period. Observed in October-January.
Repot every 3 or 4 years shortly before the beginning of the growing season or when the bush is finished flowering.
- Propagation. By dividing bulbs, by offspring and by seed.
- Pests. Scabies, aphids, spider mites, mealybugs.
- Diseases. Peronosporosis, scald fungus, red rot.
Hippeastrums are flowering perennial bulbous plants. The bulb shape is round, rarely conical, and includes a thick, short stem and closed scales. Depending on the species, the bulb can reach a diameter of 50-100 mm.
They have lace-like spines on the base (base), gathered in a bundle. Placed in 2 opposite rows, linear leaf blades reach 0.5-0.7 m in length and only 40-50 mm in width. Their front surface is grooved, while the reverse is keeled.
They have a green coloration, but in some varieties it may be crimson. The hollow leafless cylindrical flower stalk is 0.35-0.8 m tall, bearing an umbrella composed of 2-6 alternating flowers, which reach 25 cm across and are about 13-15 cm long. The tube-shaped or funnel-shaped flowers have long petioles and vary in color, such as deep red, pink, dark red, orange, white and so on.
The fruit is an angular or globular trichambered boll containing tiny seeds. The freshly picked seeds have a very high germination rate (practically 100%).
If you want a hippeastrum to grace your home as well as to grow and develop normally, then you should definitely remember several specifics of this crop:
- Grades whose flowers are white or pale in color have a small number of germinated seeds.
- In the warm season, this plant is recommended to be moved to the garden, with it being buried in the ground together with the pot.
- The flowering period of this crop can be adjusted if necessary, resulting in the flowers blooming on a particular day.
The reason is that during flowering the hippeastrum looks like a big bouquet and makes a nice gift for a birthday or other special occasion.
- After opening each flower fades after 1.5 weeks.
- Bulbs of large size should be chosen for flowering because they contain a lot of nutrients.
Hippeastrum: flowering, planting and care
Hippeastrum care at home
Sunnies with lots of bright light are suitable for growing hippeastrum, but it should always be diffused.
Do not allow the shrub's foliage to be exposed to scorching direct sunlight. The pot can be placed on a window sill of a southeastern, southern or southwestern window. The shrub is periodically rotated around its axis to keep its compact shape.
This plant needs warmth (17 to 25 degrees) during intensive growth. If possible, move the flower outdoors during the warm season, but choose a place where there is no risk of stagnant liquid in its root system.
In the beginning of the growing season, watering should be very sparing. When the bush develops a flower stalk, this indicates that its growing season has begun, at which time you should begin to gradually increase the amount of watering. From the moment the flower arrow appears until the flowers open, watering should become abundant, but make sure that no water stagnates in the substrate. Such a plant is well suited to watering from the pallet or bottom watering. To do this, gradually pour lukewarm water into the tray until the lump of soil in the container is completely soaked.
Try not to get liquid on the bulb while watering. When the bush blossoms, watering begins to be gradually reduced and eventually stopped completely.
After the height of the flower stalk is 12-15 centimeters, the substrate is poured with a pinkish solution of manganese potassium. And after 4-6 days, the bush will need fertilizing with phosphorus fertilizers. In general, you should feed the flower systematically once every half a month.
At the very beginning of the growing season for this use liquid mineral fertilizer for ornamental deciduous plants. And when the bush has formed leaf plates, it starts to be fed with fertilizer for flowering plants, which will have a positive effect on the formation of buds. Prepare the nutrient solution correctly, because if it has an excessively high concentration, it can burn the root system of the bush. The leaflets should always be kept clean by systematically wiping them with a soft, damp cloth or by giving the flower a warm shower.
Potting out hippeastrums
Transplant this flower infrequently, usually once every 3 or 4 years, either when the flowering is finished or shortly before the resting period begins.
Particular attention should be paid to the choice of container for planting, so, from the bulb to the wall of the pot should be no more than 20 mm. Approximate composition of a suitable substrate: coarse sand (perlite), humus, leaf and turf soil (2:1:2:2). Before proceeding to the transplanting, soil mixture is sterilized. Also at the bottom of the pot be sure to make a good drainage layer.
Transplant the bush by the method of transplanting, in this case the risk of inadvertently damaging the root system of the flower will be minimal.
Keep in mind that after transplanting, at least 1/3 of the bulb should be above the surface of the substrate.
Propagation of hippeastrum
This flower can be grown from seeds or propagated by vegetative methods. Freshly harvested seeds should be used for sowing as they have a very high germination rate at this time. Dried seed has a germination rate of only 30%. Propagation by seeds is very rare, as this procedure is time consuming and only possible with fresh seed, and to get it, you need to resort to artificial pollination.
The process itself of sowing and growing seedlings is quite simple.
Much faster and easier to propagate such a flower can be vegetatively. To do this, it is enough to separate the offspring from the parent bulb. Carry out this procedure during transplanting. To separate the offspring, a very sharp presterilized tool is used, and the cut places must necessarily be sprinkled with carbon powder.
Then it is planted in an individual pot. For 2 years, even during the dormancy period, the leaf plates should not be cut from the bush.
Hippeastrum can also be propagated by dividing the bulb. This procedure is done in November because the bulb contains a lot of nutrients at this time. To do this, remove the top layer of potting soil so that only the lower part of the bulb is buried in it.
Remove the dry outer scales from it and trim off the foliage, taking some of the top of the bulb. Then it is vertically divided into 4 lobes, which should be equal, with the cuts should reach the surface of the soil mixture. Into these cuts, spokes made of wood or plastic are placed vertically, they should reach 50-60 mm in cross-section, and the bulb parts should not be connected. Continue to take care of the bulb as an adult shrub and do not allow the ground ball to dry out. Once the leaf plates have formed, fertilize the shrub and continue to feed it in the same way as a normal adult hippeastrum.
The following year, in spring time, divide the bulbs into parts and plant them in separate pots.
RENOMATION OF HYPPEASTRUM BY DIVERSING BOOKS | Care of the plant
This flower begins its dormancy period in September and ends in January. If the bush has been outdoors during the warm season, it is brought back into the room in the fall. At the same time proceed to a gradual reduction of watering, after a while the leaf plates dry up. When the leaflets are completely withered, they will fall off on their own, as soon as this happens, the stem should be completely cut, and the container should be placed on the side in a dark, dry and cool (6 to 12 degrees) place, where it will stay 1.
5-2 months. The bulb should not be watered during this time, and it should only be moved back to the window when the dormancy period comes to an end.
How to make it bloom
To make sure that all your efforts were not in vain and your indoor hippeastrum would surely bloom, you can resort to one of those tricks:
- Before planting the bulb, place it in hot (43 to 45 degrees) water for 3 hours. This will result in a lush bloom that begins just 20 days after planting.
- In August, you should stop all watering and move the bush to a dark and dry place.
It should not be returned to the window until the last days of January, after which the flower will be watered again. In this case it will flower in 4-6 weeks.
- In July all the leaflets should be removed, and all watering should be stopped for 4 weeks. After the first watering, the bush should be fed, for this purpose a liquid complex fertilizer is used. In this case, flowers will appear in August or September.
Causes for not blooming
In some cases, the bush does not bloom because it is not getting enough nutrients. Since there is very little substrate in the container, the plant draws nutrients from it very quickly. Therefore it is very important to feed the plant regularly and correctly. The same goes for watering.
Also the lack of flowers can be explained by the presence of pests such as mealybugs, spider mites or scaleworms.
If the substrate is constantly stagnant, the bulbs can begin to rot and then the plant will definitely not flower.
Care after flowering
After the bush has bloomed, you should start preparing it for the upcoming dormancy period, and how well and timely you do this depends on the quality of flowering in the next season. From the beginning of the second half of September, stop watering the bush completely, and when its withered leaves will fall off and the flower stems will be cut off, it should be moved to a dry, dark and cool place. There he will stay until the last days of January or the first - February. Then put it back on the windowsill and water and feed it again.
Hippeastrums have bloomed! What's next! Should you trim the flower stalks!
Most often such a flower is affected by false powdery mildew, red rot and red scald fungus. Aphids, spider mites, mealybugs and scabs can also settle on it and an insecticide solution is used to get rid of them.
The appearance of the hippeastrum can tell what is affected. If there are red spots on the bulbs and foliage, it can be said that the bush is infected with fungal burn. The appearance of a white coating on the above-ground part of the bush indicates powdery mildew.
If the bulb has rotten scales and the leaves are hanging down, it is affected by rot.
When a hippeastrum is affected by rot, all diseased spots and roots should be cut out, the bulb should be well dried and planted in fresh sterilized substrate, but first treated with Fundazole. With powdery mildew you can cope with special means, which can be bought in a specialized store. If the bulb is affected by red scald, it should be dug out and all the diseased parts should be cut out to healthy tissue. The cut areas should be treated with a mixture of 1 part copper sulfate and 20 parts of chalk, then leave it for 7 days in the open air to dry.
Then it is planted in a new soil mixture which has been previously treated with a fungicide.
Hippeastrum Care and Features