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March 2008
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Amaryllis Pasadena / Hippeastrum

Commonly known as amaryllis, Hippeastrum are popular flowering houseplants, often given as Christmas gifts. ‘Pasadena’ is an eye-catching variety with scarlet red blooms that have white flashes on each petal. Amaryllis were originally discovered in South Africa and South America. The South American plants hail from the Andes Mountains of Chile, Peru, and Bolivia as well as from Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela. Amaryllis bulbs can be found as far north as Mexico and the West Indies. The beautiful amaryllis that we purchase today are hybrid descendants of these original species.
Make up a compost mix using equal parts of peat and perlite. Half-fill a plastic pot 2.5cm (1in) wider than the bulb with the compost mix and add compost around the roots so that one-third of the bulb shows.
Never leave pots standing in water. Water plants as required, usually once or twice a week during winter and spring, and more frequently during summer. Mist spray leaves during the summer to increase the humidity around them. Begin feeding as soon as the shoot appears and continue on a weekly basis until flowering is over.
In late August, curtail watering, then stop altogether until the foliage dies back. Remove the bulb from the soil and store it in a cool, dry place where it can rest until mid to late October. Then repot it in light, well-draining potting soil. Watering is like an alarm clock going off. As soon as you start, the bulb wakes and is on its blooming way again.

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