best way to plant amaryllis seeds+best amaryllis book

duchessofblackpool(z5NY)April 20, 2005


I'd love to hear from anyone with info on best way to sow/germinate amaryllis seeds-- did you use clay pots, plastic or jiffy pots, etc? When do you transplant them? Do you need to use a heating mat? I'd appreciate any and all info since I have zero experience in planting anything from seed.

Another question: is there a comprehensive book on the care & propagation of amaryllis that you can recommend?

Thanks for any help, info, advice.

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johnva(Z7 TN)

I use 4 inch plastic pots. I fill them with wet Pro-Mix BX (potting mix) to about 1/2 from the top. I then fill the remaining space with builders sand. I then take a lable end and make slits in the sand into which I place the seeds, leaving just a piece sticking up. I then wrap the pot in a one gallon clear plastic bag and put them under lights (cool whites).

I have started thousands this way. When the leaves hit the top of the bag I open it for a day, then remove it. When the new bulbs reach about pea size I repot the plants into individual 4 inch plastic pots, potting up to 6 or 8 inch pots when required.

I only water with 1/4 strength liquid fertilizer.

Pics below:

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 11:00AM
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birchlog01(8b TX)

My germination method:
I get a 39 oz. size coffee can and 2 lids to fit it. I use a can opener to put 3 holes in the bottom of the can and then put a lid on it. Crush up enough charcoal to cover the bottom by at least 1/2". On top of that, put enough potting soil to reach about 3/4 of the way to the top. Then place the seeds in the can. On top of the seeds, put about 1/8" more potting soil. Water it and then put on the other lid. I keep mine on the front porch as long as the heat doesn't get over 75 degrees. If it does, I try to bring it in the house where it won't get so hot. In about 3-4 weeks, you should see the leaves poking out. I don't take the lid off until the last plant's leaves are at least 4" tall to make sure the bulb develops.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 12:46PM
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Thanks JohnVa and birchlog for the informative advice on amaryllis germination. The pix were very helpful. I'm going to try both methods.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 11:50AM
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johnva(Z7 TN)

This is an example of the results:

These are ready to be repotted. I had just knocked off the sand to see how they were doing.

Not bad for a 4 inch pot :)


    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 12:21PM
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Wow!! Very impressive results. It looks as if all the seeds went berserk with growth. And in a 4" pot to boot. Congrats.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 11:21PM
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The shape of your seedlings is very very interesting,

these planties are so much looking like seedlings of Habranthus I guess robustus
A typical feature of these is the long thin leaves with this more cold (blueish) green color and the very early formation of very tiny daughter plants beside these nearly black bulbs.....which is all demonstrated in your image...

But, perhaps, this IS indeed a true Hippeastrum; it should be a species then; what is its name or how did the blooms look like?!

Please do not mind; I grew thousands of hippeastrum seedlings, too; 2- and 4ploid hybrids; I regret I never found a comparable appearance in any grex of my hybridizations.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 1:55PM
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johnva(Z7 TN)

They could well have been species Hipp crosses but not Habranthus I am sure. Wish I could read the lable :(

That is tipical of all my hipp's started that way. The seedlings all have narrow leaves and dark bulbs.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 8:58PM
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brigarif Khan

How old are these seedlings (in weeks). The smaller ones are weaklings or bulblets.Your planting is also interesting.The builders sand has too little aeration/water holding.In any case I am going to try it with a few seeds.It does not look prectical if you have a few hundred seeds to sow


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 9:46AM
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johnva(Z7 TN)

The builder's sand is only the top half inch of so, all the roots are below it in Pro Mix BX. I have done hundreds that way. I start them under lights and move them to my greenhouse when I repot them. It has worked very well for me.

I use a lable end to make the slit for the seed, slip them in, press the sand down, which is wet from the soil below.

The purpose of the sand it to prevent damping off. I also have used powered cinnamon sprinkled on top to stop mold from growing on the wet sand. Once the seeds are sprouted it is generally no problem.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 6:32PM
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johnva(Z7 TN)


I would guess they are 4-6 months old based on my fading memory :) Those are all new bulbs from seed as in the earlier pics.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 10:25PM
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windyrr2(z9a FL)

I was going to ask about the best way to germinate amaryllis seeds. I got some from ebay with instructions to take a non draining fast food container, like a deli container with a clear plastic lid and to fill it vermiculite and then dampen it.( I only had fine vermiculite). The it said to lay the seeds down flat and then cover with 1/4" more of vermiculite. Then to put lid on it and and keep the vermiculite damp but not soaked.
It's been two weeks, and nothing. Plus when I try and dampen the vermiculite when it dries out, it washes the seeds up.Also I took the lid off because things get cooked here easily in the Florida sun and you can't really do things the way they might do in other climates , as far as full sun.
Is this not a good way to germinate? The way I was instructed to? Should I try and re-do it one of the ways listed on this forum above? I don't know how to obtain the Pro Mix mentioned above.
Thanks Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 6:12PM
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janet_a(MD 6b)

yikes, do you have the container in the sun? probably not a good idea. give this a whirl: drop the seeds in a glass of water and keep it in indirect sun (or vey dappled sunlight). this is called the california method and the seeds (if they haven't been fried :-) ) should sprout right there in the glass. wait til you have a quarter inch of root and then plant them in soil.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 6:47PM
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Janet, I am going to try your method.In fact, I dropped two amaryllis seeds in a glass with water just now.
How long should it take to develope roots? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 3:19PM
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hi there,
i sow these fresh amaryllis seed in june 18/2005, now they are begin to sprouting up like crazy! best regard, tuanh

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 8:01PM
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janet_a(MD 6b)

don't hold your breath leelee--could take weeks to months. i had some take over a month to sprout, but they finally did. i figured if they sank they were done for, but they sprouted on the bottom of the glass anyway. just ignore them for a while. :-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 4:45PM
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I pollinated my amaryllis and got about 50 seeds from it. I decided to try to float them in water. so far, i have about 35 that have rooted. when do i transfre them to soil? can anyone help me?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 1:09PM
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If you want to grow alot of these you need to start them in open flats. Get some plastic trays from the five and dime. You are looking for something that would double as the bottom of a cat litter box.
With about a 1/2 inch wood drill bit put about 12 holes in it. Six of them on the curve of the bottom to side. This is so if sitting flat it won't fill with water.
I use a compost soil with a little sand and mix 50% with miracle grow soil or peters which is sold in our area.
Fill about an inch from the top and water thoroughly. Add more soil if needed to keep an inch from the top. Lay out seeds flat with about the same space as the seeds are wide.
Cover with 1/4 inch of soil mix. Mist top of soil until real wet. Set in semi bright light or on porch but not full sun. After they have had three or four leaves come out strong you can gradually introduce them to more sun.

Don't worry about thinning out after they start sprouting. Leave in the tray and fertilize as required. Donts soak and don't let dry out. Leave them in tray for first year, then plant them out or in pots. You will end up with over 50+ a tray and are great for starting a whole bed with one tray. Hoped that helped you some it has worked for us for years.

Warning; cats love to lay in these flats of young Amaryllis.

Here is a link that might be useful: Town Square

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 1:45PM
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