About 75 species of Hippeastrum
are native to Africa and South America. They
are herbaceous plants that grow from bulbs. Hybrids and a few species are
cultivated around the world. Plants are grown outdoors in warm climates and
indoors in colder climates. Leaves are strap-like. Plants die to the ground in
winter. Flowers may appear before the foliage or with the foliage depending on
the hybrid. Flowers are large and colorful, usually in shades of red, orange,
pink, and white.
Light: full sun to part shade, flowers best in full sun
Water: drought tolerant once established, does not survive in wet sites
Soil: well-drained, low fertility, wide pH tolerance, no other special requirements
In north Florida, amaryllis is easy and reliable. Plants are long-lived and may develop into huge clumps. Bulbs can pull themselves down into loose, sandy soil. If they are too deep, the plants produce nice foliage but few flowers. When this occurs, the bulbs should be dug in late spring or summer and replanted so that the slender “neck” of the bulb is above the soil line.