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Plant of the week: Hippeastrum 'Red Lion'

Hippeastrum 'Red Lion'Hippeastrum 'Red Lion'

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Hardiness: House plant in Atlantic Canada

Hippeastrum a genus of bulbs often incorrectly known as, Amaryllis.

However the genus is a member of the Amaryllidaceae Family.

I buy at least three of these bulbs each winter usually two in time for Christmas and New Year, and one a bit later. They never fail to delight me with their beautiful funnel shaped blooms.

H 'Red Lion' was the star this year. Three stems grew at the same time, one inch apart in height, of which two stems bore five funnel shaped red flowers with yellow anthers, and the third stem with four flowers. The height of the fully grown stems were 18" 17" and 16". Each stem takes several days for all of the flowers to open. About a week fully open, they start to fade and die one by one. If in a cool room they will last a bit longer. After the flowers are over I cut the stem back to about two inches above the bulb. The strap like leaves usually appear by this time. My second bulb I planted at the same time threw up a 29" stem and only bore three very large white flowers, never the less quite beautiful.

Hippeastrum bulb

To Grow:

When purchasing the bulb it will have two to three inches of dried roots. I usually trim off an inch of the longest dried roots, then sit the root end of the bulb in a shallow dish of water for an hour or so. (I have no idea if this is necessary or if it helps the plant, but it makes me feel better). I then prepare a pot that is just large enough to hold the bulb. Using 2" of pro-mix in the bottom of the pot place the bulb on top and add more pro-mix down and around the side of the bulb. Only up two thirds of the bulb. DO NOT COVER THE BULB. Water thoroughly, soaking the soil, allowing water to drain through the pot and water only as needed during plant growth. When growth starts place in a light area.


After all danger of frost is over you can plant the bulbs out side. In the fall when their leaves have become yellow, bring indoors, store in a cool area 10 to 13 degrees Celsius. They need two or three months rest before replanting.

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