The Top Hippeastrum and Amaryllis


By Dave Whitinger

First up, let's see which are the ten most popular cultivars:

#1: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Apple Blossom')

@plantladylin says, "I've been told that 'Apple Blossom' is a more common Amaryllis but it's still one of my favorites. I love purchasing bulbs to force for holiday blooms and 'Apple Blossom' is the only one I've ever had that sprouted blooms on such a short stalk!"

#2: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Minerva')

@plantladylin says, "I planted 'Minerva' bulbs in a container with other plants and quickly forgot about them. Then one day I noticed these lovely buds showing, soon to be followed by the beautiful blooms. It is a long-blooming Amaryllis. I experienced blooms on this one off and on all summer."

#3: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Red Lion')

@mcash70 says, "This was my first Amaryllis. After its initial bloom it thrived in my living room window and outgrew its pot. I was very surprised to see how large the bulb had grown in 8 months. I hope it will bloom again in December."

@mcash70 added, "Last year was my first introduction to growing Amaryllis, the cultivar was Red Lion, and I fell in love with its striking red blooms on the one scape it produced. I let it grow in a sunny window all summer. In early September I let it go dormant and put it in a cool dark cupboard for about 8 weeks, then potted it up in fresh soil. It bloomed beautifully. It was bigger and better than ever with two sturdy scapes, each of which produced four large and gorgeous long lasting blooms."

#4: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Aphrodite')

@plantladylin says, "'Aphrodite' is my favorite Amaryllis of all time. I just love the shape and color of the bloom."

#5: St. Joseph's Lily (Hippeastrum x johnsonii)

@SongofJoy says, "This bulb is able to withstand cold temperatures and poor soils. This is an April/May-blooming red and white striped garden amaryllis found in many heirloom gardens.

Johnson's amaryllis is another name for this bulb, in honor of the hybridizer and English watchmaker, Mr. Johnson. Sometimes also known as St Joseph's Lily, it has a slight spicy fragrance.

Many say this is the best hybrid on the market. Even in such large clumps, the bloom capacity is not hindered. The striking red trumpet-shaped blooms with their white stripes are quite showy and dramatic."

#6: Naked Lady (Amaryllis belladonna)

@sheryl says, "This is actually the true Amaryllis - the flowers that we see around Christmas are of the Hippeastrum family that have adopted the common name of Amaryllis. The common name is "Naked Lady", which refers to the leaf-less bloom. Lycoris squamigera is also called "Naked Lady" and has a similar bloom.

As with many South African natives, this bulb prefers dry summers, sunny to slightly shady exposure and is fairly xeric. A Mediterranean climate is probably the best approximation."

#7: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Candy Floss')

@Sharon says, "Candy Floss has a strong tall stalk and a large beautiful bloom. It's one of the brightest pinks I've seen, almost hot pink. The stalk and buds appeared long before the foliage. It is a bloom that makes a statement all on its own.

Edited to add: I planted the bulb on November 21, keeping it inside out of cold weather. It's first bloom stalk appeared the week before Christmas, with 4 buds. The blooms on that stalk were beautiful for a week, then the second stalk appeared. It also had 4 large blooms and they are still blooming today, January 9. It is a striking plant and gets a small amount of water only once a week."

#8: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum cybister 'Lima')

@critterologist says, "I love the burgundy and green colors and the delicate, exotic shape of this cybister! I've read that H. cybister varieties should just be grown continuously, not given a dormant stage, but I've never had any trouble with 'Lima' whether I let it stay green all year or let it get dry & dormant for several months in fall. If you want to "time" the bloom (6-8 weeks after potting up the bulb), then let it go dormant; otherwise just bring it inside when the weather gets cold and treat it like a houseplant all winter... it'll surprise you with a bloom before spring!"

#9: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Picotee')

@SongofJoy says, "Red edges on pure white blooms. In colder temperatures, grow indoors. Blooms 8-10 weeks. Very reliable bloomer."

#10: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Flamenco Queen')

@Catmint20906 says, "Amaryllis 'Flamenco Queen' was an exceptionally prolific bloomer for me this past year. I grow Amaryllis as a houseplant in the winter when nothing else is blooming. 'Flamenco Queen' bloomed early, grew rapidly, and bloomed repeatedly. It must have put out a good half a dozen blooming stalks before going dormant. The red-veined on white color of the bloom is attractive."

The most thumbed-up image in the Hippeastrum and Amaryllis area is shown below:

About Dave Whitinger
Thumb of 2020-03-17/dave/72728eDave is the Executive Director of National Gardening Association.

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