The numerous varieties of Amaryllis (Amaryllis Hippeastrum) are among the most popular and beautiful of flowering bulbs. Coming in a wide range of colors from white to fire engine red, Amaryllis bulbs can strain your budget if you want to grow many of them. However, you can propagate them yourself using several methods--pollinating and harvesting the seeds is a good way to spread the beauty of this flower without breaking the bank.
Determine the parts of your Amaryllis flower as soon as it becomes fully open. To pollinate it you must transfer pollen from the pollen sack to the stigma, which is the female reproductive organ. It is normally a white, three-lobed structure inside the flower.
Wait two or three days after your Amaryllis flower fully opens, then transfer the pollen from the sack to the stigma by either cutting off the sack and shaking it over the stigma or by “painting” the pollen from the sack to the stigma with a small brush or cotton swab. In about two weeks, the stigma will begin to swell if it has been successfully pollinated. Pods that weren't successfully pollinated will look yellow and wrinkled and begin to whither away.
Leave the developing seed pods alone. Do not cut the pods off, and do not open the seed pods until they split open on their own, which will take a few days once they begin to swell.
Collect the Amaryllis seeds, which are plentiful within each pod and look like small, flat, dark beans. Do this by making the opening in the pod larger and allowing the seeds to empty into either your hand or a tray. The seeds are big enough that if any spill when you cut the pods open, they will be easy to find.
Place the seeds on a paper towel or tray. Dry the seeds in a warm, dark, dry, well-ventilated area for up to one week, then plant them immediately in a shaded area.
Things You Will Need
- Garden snips or scissors
- Small paintbrush
- Cotton swabs (optional)
- Paper towel
- To ensure your Amaryllis reproduces "true to type," with flowers identical to its parent, the best method is called "cuttage." Cuttage involves cutting the bulb into numerous pieces and planting them in a mixture of peat moss and sand.
- After germination occurs, increase the amount of light your plants receive.
- Some Amaryllis varieties do not self-pollinate well. For example the "Apple Blossom" cultivar does not often accept its own pollen successfully, but you can pollinate it with the pollen from another variety of Amaryllis. You'll end up with flowers that are a mix between the two varieties.
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