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Amaryllis family. The homeland of the hippeastrum is tropical America. About 75 species are widespread in nature.
Currently, there are a large number of varieties that differ in the shape and color of flowers, all of them are combined in the species Hippeastrum garden Hippeastrum hortorum. This plant has a large bulb, up to 20 cm in diameter, which is only half deep into the soil. Belt-shaped leaves are collected in a basal rosette, about 50 cm long. Flowers are collected in 2-4 pieces in an umbrella-shaped inflorescence on a long (up to 1 m) peduncle. The perianths are wide, up to 20 cm in diameter, bell-shaped, of a wide variety of shades: white, pink, red, burgundy, yellow, variegated. It has large stamens with bright yellow anthers. Blooms in February - early March.
Caring for Hippeastrum - in the Frequently Asked Questions section.
Optimal for the growth of hippeastrum in summer is about 23-26 ° C during the day and 17-23 ° C at night. Of course, it is better to place the plant outdoors in summer. You can take out the pots to the garden in early June, when the weather is warm even at night. It is advisable not to transplant the bulbs into the soil from the pot. On the one hand, cultivation in soil promotes strong growth, good development of bulbs, on the other hand, it is more difficult to protect the plant from caterpillars, from waterlogging in wet rainy weather. The pot can be placed on an elevation anywhere in the garden, under the shade of the openwork crown of trees and in a place protected from the wind. During the dormant period, the bulbs are stored at 10 ° C dry.
Bright diffused light. Shade the leaves from direct sunlight in the afternoon (very hot on the south, southwest window). After flowering, hippeastrum need full sunlight for the development and maturation of the bulbs.
Watering and humidity
Abundant during flowering and growing season - water the soil when it dries up in the upper third of the pot. Hippeastrum is very sensitive to long drying out of the earth, after abundant watering it is worth periodically loosen the top layer of the soil, closer to the edge of the pot. During the rest period, the bulbs are kept dry. If the plant is in a room with very dry air, then you can lightly spray the leaves.
Rest period or Hippeastrum after flowering
The resting period for hippeastrum falls in the fall from mid or late September, until about the end of December. Sometimes the plant itself clearly expresses a desire to go to rest - the leaves dry out, this means an automatic reduction in watering.
The stem is cut only when it is completely dry. If the hippeastrum does not show signs of wilting, and the deadlines have already come, it must be sent to rest by force. Otherwise, the plant will not have the strength and reserves of nutrients for the next flowering. Therefore, watering is reduced, then they stop watering altogether, but the plant is transferred to a cool place.
After the leaves have dried and trimmed, the bulb can be removed from the pot, shaken off the old soil and put on its side for storage (in a paper bag). If at the same time children are found, they need to be separated and placed in pots. Children should not be sent to rest, they are too weak, they may die. They need to be placed on the windowsill and watered according to the temperature, as the soil dries. However, make sure they have enough light.
Once every one to two weeks with a liquid fertilizer for flowering indoor plants, diluted at the concentration recommended by the manufacturer. Top dressing of hippeastrum begins as soon as the growth of the peduncle begins, and ends when the growth of new leaves stops.
If you need a strict feeding instruction, focus on the physiological stage of development.
- So the first top dressing at the beginning of the growth of the peduncle (about 10-12 cm from the base to the tip), when the bud is already formed, we use fertilizers with the NPK ratio, where there is more potassium and phosphorus than nitrogen, approximately in a ratio of 1: 2: 3.
- In the middle of flowering, this is about two to three weeks after the first feeding, it is worth switching to fertilizers, where the NPK proportions are 1: 1: 3 - at this stage you do not need a lot of nitrogen and phosphorus, but the need for potassium remains significant. This fertilizer should be fed every 1.5-2 weeks 4-5 times.
- Flowering is over, hippeastrum remains with green leaves, the need for potassium remains, like any bulbous and flowering plants, so it is worth choosing a fertilizer where the NPK proportions are 2: 1: 2.
You can pick up fertilizers with the desired ratio in the store (for example, OBI has a huge selection). Or use dry fertilizers for home and garden, such as urea, potassium sulfate, double superphosphate. Dilute in the required proportions in dry form, then dissolve in water before use. However, ready-made complex fertilizers are preferable - they usually contain additional trace elements, which are also necessary for the growth, development and flowering of hippeastrum. If you are in doubt about how and how to feed hippeastrum, just buy fertilizer for bulbous flowers, dilute according to the instructions. Never exceed the fertilizer dose to avoid burning the roots.
Hippeastrum is transplanted as needed. The growth rate of the bulbs is different, the young grow vigorously, quickly, and need to be replanted annually. Old plants grow little bulbs, but they should also be transplanted annually into fresh soil, but into an old pot if it has not become small. This is necessary because the soil accumulates insoluble salts, loses its structure and becomes of little use for the plant.
Soil for hippeastrum: 2 parts of sod land, 2 parts of leafy soil, 1 part of humus, 1 part of gravel chips (2-3 mm) and 1/2 part of vermiculite. It is better not to use ordinary sand.
Hippeastrum is propagated by daughter bulbs during transplantation, by seeds. The separated children are planted in the prepared soil mixture in separate pots with a diameter of about 12 cm, so that one third of the height of the bulb remains above the soil surface. With good care, they will bloom in 2-3 years.