How to propagate amaryllis?

Do you know how to Propagate Amaryllis?

Amaryllis Propagation is typically done by seed or by cuttage! Amaryllis plants are members of the Amaryllidaceae plant family. These plants are prized by home gardeners for their large, showy flowers that range in color from crimson to white. Amaryllis are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11 and grow best in bright, indirect light when grown indoors or filtered sunlight and shaded locations when planted outdoors. Home gardeners can propagate amaryllis plants themselves. Propagation is typically done by seed or by cuttage.

Propagation by Seed

Step 1
Wait for the seed pods to yellow and split open, revealing the black seeds inside, and remove the pods from your amaryllis plant. This typically occurs four to five weeks after pollination.

Step 2
Allow the seeds to dry for a few days prior to planting. Prepare small pots that are about 4 to 5 inches in diameter by filling them with a moist, well-draining planting medium such as coarse sand and peat or vermiculite.

Step 3
Remove the seeds from the pod, and plant them in your prepared pots or flats. Place the containers in a location that is partly shaded until germination.

Step 4
Move your plant each day after germination, increasing the amount of light until your seedling is in full sun.

Step 5
Feed seedlings every other week with a complete liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength.

Step 6
Allow your plant to grow in containers for one year before planting in the garden. When planting outdoors, use a soil mix that is rich in organic matter, such as two parts loam soil to one part perlite and one part well-rotted manure, leaf mold, composted wood material or peat.

Propagation by Cuttage

Step 1
Dig out established bulbs between July and November after they have flowered.

Step 2
Cut your bulb vertically into at least four sections using a sharp knife. Amaryllis plants have thick bulb scales that are attached to the basal plate, similar to onions. Make sure that two or more scales are attached to the basal plate of each cutting.

Step 3
Prepare a 5- to 6-inch-diameter pot by filling it with a well-drained medium such as a peat and sand mixture or vermiculite.

Step 4
Plant each cutting into its own pot with the basal plate face down. Cover one-third of the cutting with your planting medium, and water thoroughly so that the soil is moist but not soggy.

Step 5
Keep the cuttings warm and moist to encourage development of the root system, and place pots in a shaded location. In about four to eight weeks you should see bulblets forming between the scales. New leaves should sprout soon after. Do not fertilize until your plant produces buds.

Things You Will Need

4- to 6-inch pots
Peat and sand or vermiculite
Liquid fertilizer
Sharp knife

Amaryllis plants are also propagated by offsets, which are planted in a similar manner as cuttage, except offsets are bulblets that are removed from the main plant bulb. These bulblets are typically one-fourth to one-third the size of the main or “mother” bulb. Dig out the bulb of established plants in the fall, after the leaves begin to turn yellow and brown. Break or cut the offsets from established bulbs, and plant immediately.

source : Homeguides.sfgate

A. The plants that you have are probably a hybrid Amaryllis or Hippeastrium. This name is derived by hippeaus, a knight and astron, a star. This tender flowering bulb was first discovered by a young physician from Leipzig, Eduard Poeppig, while on a plant hunting expedition in Chile. Although we frequently see these beautiful plants for sale in pots around Christmas time, they can be raised very successfully out of doors in mild climates, such as we have in the Galveston-Houston area.

Amaryllis can be propagated four different ways: cultivation of seeds, removing or dividing offsets from the mother bulb, cuttage or bulb sectioning and tissue culture. Commercial propagation must maintain the true culture characteristics of the parent, and is carried out by the latter three methods because seeds do not always “come true” to the mother plant.

I would like to point out, however, that the outstanding selection and vigor seen in commercial plants is a result of cross fertilizing different species or varieties of plants. It is also an exciting exercise for the patient gardener, since it takes 2-4 years to progress from seed to a blooming plant.

When mature and healthy, bulbs will often produce a second and smaller bulb or offset, just to the side of the mother bulb. The new bulb can be removed by gently breaking it away or cutting it with a sharp knife after flowering is complete. The offset can then be planted to mature and bloom the following season. In all cases bulbs should be planted with at least 1/3 of the bulb showing above the soil line.

Cuttage, or re-sectioning, is carried out by making numerous vertical cuts through the bulb from top to root. Each section or piece must leave a portion of the stem tissue or basal plat of the bulb attached to the bottom, or scale portion. The best time to section bulbs from the garden is August to November. Each freshly cut section of the bulb should be dusted with ferbam or thiram to minimize disease before planting in a mixture of peat moss and sand.

Tissue culture is a rapidly increasing method of producing plants on a commercial scale, but it requires equipment, facilities and experience that are beyond the scope of most gardeners.

Although natural pollination by insects can occur, it is best to carry out the pollination process with a small artist brush if you want to propagate from seed. Gently gather pollen from several mature stamens on the brush and apply it to a receptor pistil. The stamens are mature when the pollen is easily picked up on the brush and the pistil is mature when it begins to spread out with a slight backward arch to each of the three segments.

You will know that fertilization has occurred when the ovary, which is the slightly enlarged green area at the base of the bloom, begins to swell as the flower withers. The fertilized ovary will continue to enlarge until it is 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter, with clear segmentation. The fertile seed pod will change from green to a papery brown as the seeds mature.

Shortly after turning brown, the seed pod will split open along its segmentation lines, revealing stacks of wafer-like, black seeds. Collect the seed, spread them to dry for a day or two and then plant them.

Planting of the seeds can be carried out in several ways. They can be placed on the surface of moist potting soil in seed flats or large pots, then covered with a sheet of plastic or glass to maintain a humid environment for the sprouting seeds. If the weather is warm enough, they can be sown in a very shallow furrow and covered ever so slightly with fine soil to keep them from blowing. I have had very good results sprouting the seed on hydrated floral foam, such as Oasis. It is available in the fresh floral arranging section of most craft stores and from places where fresh flowers are sold. Only a small number of the seeds from each pod will be mature enough to germinate, so do not be discouraged if your germination rate is not as high as you are expecting.

The young plants will look very much like a small green onion or chive as they develop. When you see white roots developing, carefully transplant the seedlings to individual pots filled with a good, loose potting mix. Feed them regularly with dilute, balanced fertilizer and maintain them in a slightly shaded area so that they do not dry out. If you have planted the seeds in a furrow out of doors, you should gently redistribute the seedlings approximately 2-3 inches apart. In all methods of planting, keep the planting soil evenly moist but not wet.

Continue to nurture your seedlings as you would a mature bulb. Although it takes a modicum of patience and time to bring your plants to flower, you will find that the wait has all the excitement of opening a beautifully wrapped package at Christmas to see what is inside.

Guide to Growing Amaryllis

NEBLINE Newsletter Article by Mary Jane Frogge, Extension Associate

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Photo Credit: Texas A & M University

The hybrid amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a tender bulb easily grown in pots. Amaryllis can be grown outdoors throughout the year in mild climates, but must be grown indoors in Nebraska except during the warm summer months. Amaryllis is prized for its huge showy flowers ranging from scarlet or crimson to white in color, and often striped or mottled. Most amaryllis are Dutch or African hybrids selected for flower size, color and ease of forcing. The usual flowering season is from February to April. The foliage grows during spring and summer, ripening early in the fall if temperatures are low and the soil is allowed to dry out. The bulb normally remains dormant until late winter (December or January).

The preferred soil mix for amaryllis is high in organic matter such as two parts of loam soil to one part of perlite to one part of well rotted manure. If manure is not available, another source of organic matter, such as peat, leaf mold, composted bark or wood or compost, may be used.

Five- to six-inch pots are suitable, but the best size depends on the size of the bulbs which vary considerably. A space of approximately 2 inches between the bulb and the edge of the pot is desirable. Bulbs are usually received early in the winter. They can be potted at once or stored in nearly dry sand until the end of January when growth normally begins. In potting, place the bulb so that only about half of it is below the soil, with the upper part (pointed end) left exposed. Press the soil firmly around the bulb and water thoroughly. Do not water again until the roots are well developed as overwatering can lead to bulb rots. Only when the roots have become well established will the plants need more frequent watering. The foliage is weakened by being forced too rapidly if temperatures are higher than 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the period before flowering.

After the flower bulb has emerged, an application of a balanced fertilizer at intervals of 10 days is helpful. A liquid or dry fertilizer can be applied and either inorganic or organic types are satisfactory for this plant. Be sure to read the label carefully so that you apply the correct amount of that particular fertilizer. Amaryllis will flower 6 to 8 weeks after growth is initiated.

When the flowers have withered, cut the stem off about two inches above the bulb. The growth is most active during the next two or three months and should be encouraged by ample water and fertilizer. When all danger of frost has passed, the plant may be plunged, pot and all, into the open ground in full sunlight, or it may be grown indoors in a bright location during the summer. Restrictions in growth during this period interfere with the proper development of the bulb in preparation for next spring’s flowers. Gradually decrease watering late in summer when the leaves begin to turn yellow. Allow the soil to become completely dry when the foliage has died back. While in this dormant state, the bulb should be left in the pot and stored in a cool place, preferably at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the pot on its side and do not water during the dormant period.


Since it requires 6 to 8 weeks from the beginning of growth to the production of flowers in amaryllis, you can have an extended flowering period by selecting the time for growth initiation. Begin by starting growth in the first bulbs in January and continue through the latter part of March. Before applying water to the soil in the pot to start the growth, check the pot to see whether repotting is needed. Repotting is required if the bulb has increased so much in size that it is crowding the edge of the pot, or if offshoots have developed. After the bulb is removed from its pot, use a pointed stick to pick out as much of the soil as can be removed without damaging the roots. The bulb with some soil still adhering to its roots is set in a well-drained pot slightly larger than the old root bulb. Offsets or small bulbs should be taken off and potted in 3-inch pots. They will flower in two or three years. When the new leaves and flower spikes begin to show, the temperature may be increased to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. During bloom, cooler conditions will prolong the flowering period.


Amaryllis can be propagated by seed, offsets or cuttage. Since seeds do not always produce plants similar to their parents, most named hybrids and selected strains are propagated by cuttage. Seed pods of amaryllis develop rapidly and are mature within 4 to 5 weeks after the flower has been pollinated. Pods should be picked as soon as they turn yellow and begin to break open. Seeds should be removed from the pod, allowed to dry for a few days and planted immediately. The seed bed should be partially shaded, and the media used for seed germination should be well drained. Following germination, increase the light until the plants are receiving full sunlight.

The bulbs may be cut vertically into as many as 60 pieces. Care should be taken that each piece has a portion of the stem tissue or basal plate of the bulb attached to the scales. The best time for cuttage is from August to November. The wedges should be planted immediately in a mixture of peat and sand. Bulbs purchased from garden stores or florists usually flower at Christmas time. Theses bulbs have been specially treated by the grower to allow for this early flowering. After this initial flowering at Christmas time, the amaryllis will bloom later in the following years. Generally, the earliest flowering occurs in February. However, you should be able to flower them for the Easter season by initiating growth at the proper time.

Source: Source: Donald Steinegger, UNL

Photo Credits: Texas A & M University, Cornell University

How to Multiply Amaryllis

red amaryllis image by Dagmara Czechowska from

Amaryllis is a bulbous plant that is often grown indoors in containers. If you are growing your amaryllis outdoors, consider growing it in a pot (with drainage holes) so you can move it around to the best location during the different stages of growth and during the winter months if you live in a cool climate. In order for your amaryllis to multiply itself or self propagate by growing additional bulbs, you will have to take excellent care of it. This way, it will have the energy to not only thrive and bloom, but will have extra energy to grow extra bulbs.

Maintain soil that is evenly moist; however, do not allow it to sit in standing water. Always dump out excess water in the collection tray. Before planting your amaryllis, place a 2 inch layer of rock and gravel at the bottom of the pot to allow for good water drainage.

Keep the plant in the sunlight and near 75 degrees F. When the flowers open, remove the plant from the sun if you want to prolong the life of your flower.

Cut the wilting flowers off 2 inches below the blooms to prevent the plant from using its energy to make seed. Move the plant to an area with partial sunlight once all flowers are finished blooming.

Fertilize your amaryllis at this time with an all purpose slow release fertilizer. Keep the soil moist and leave the green foliage intact until it turns yellow. At that time, you can cut it back.

Divide the bulbs in the fall. Gently lift the bulbs out of the soil and brush off the excess dirt. Look at the bulb to notice if there are any small bulbs growing on the larger main bulb. If so, pull them off with your hands. Plant the bulbs immediately in their own pots and care for them as mentioned above. They may not bloom the first year or two.

Amaryllis Seed Propagation: How To Plant An Amaryllis Seed

Growing amaryllis from seeds is a very rewarding, if somewhat long process. Amaryllis hybridize easily, which means you can develop your own new variety right at home. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it takes years, sometimes as many as five, to go from seed to blossoming plant. If you have some patience, however, you can produce and germinate your own amaryllis seed pods. Keep reading to learn more about amaryllis seed propagation and how to plant an amaryllis seed.

Amaryllis Seed Propagation

If your amaryllis plants are growing outside, they may be naturally pollinated. If you’re growing yours inside, however, or you just don’t want to leave things to chance, you can pollinate them yourself with a small paintbrush. Gently collect the pollen from the stamen of one flower and brush it onto the pistil of another. Amaryllis plants can self-pollinate, but you’ll have better results and more interesting cross-breeding if you use two different plants.

As the flower fades, the little green nub at its base should swell into a seed pod. Let the pod turn yellow and brown and crack open, then pick it. Inside should be a collection of black, wrinkly seeds.

Can You Grow Amaryllis Seeds?

Growing amaryllis from seeds is absolutely possible, though time consuming. Plant your seeds as soon as possible in well-draining soil or vermiculite under a very thin layer of soil or perlite. Water the seeds and keep them moist in partial shade until they sprout. Not all the seeds are likely to sprout, so don’t get discouraged.

After germination, growing amaryllis from seeds is not difficult. Allow the sprouts to grow for a few weeks (they should look like grass) before transplanting them into larger individual pots.

Feed them with an all-purpose fertilizer. Keep the plants in direct sun and treat them like any other amaryllis. In a few years’ time, you’ll be richly rewarded with a variety of blossom that may never have been seen before.

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