Amaryllis is also known as belladonna lily or naked ladies.
The genus consists of 2 species.
One species, Amaryllis belladonna, is indigenous to South
Africa, specifically the Cape of Good Hope.
Sometimes it's confused with Hippeastrum, a flowering bulb
which is commonly sold during the winter months as it easily
Hippeastrum is a genus comprised of about 90 species and
more than 600 hybrids native to the tropical and subtropical
regions from Mexico south to Argentina and throughout
"Hippeastrum" is Greek for "horseman's star" known today
Dutch growers are considered the first commercial breeders of
Hippeastrum dating back to the 18th century. Usually you
begin to see them in nurseries and garden centers around
the middle of October so they are in bloom for Christmas
and through the Holiday Season.
When purchasing an Amaryllis bulb, Hippeastrum,, it already
has a perfect embryo flower formed. It's ready to be planted.
Soak the roots of the newly purchased bulb in a cup or glass of
lukewarm water to which you added some seaweed. Make sure
that just the roots are submerged in the water and not any
part of the bulb itself. Keep the base of the bulb above
and outside the water.
Leave the roots in the water-seaweed mix overnight.
It will be ready to plant the next day. The overnight
soaking of the roots in the seaweed mixture will
enhance the growth process of your Hippeastrum
because of the essential trace elements that are
present in the seaweed.
To plant the bulb start with a 6-inch container.
Fill it 1/3 of the way with a well draining potting
mix. Place the bulb in the center of the pot. Sprinkle
some bone meal around the roots. Cover the bulb to the
point that the "neck" of the bulb is above the soil.
Water the mixture thoroughly with lukewarm water to which
you add some seaweed and/or Superthrive.
Place your newly potted bulb in front of a well lit window.
Don't water again until you see some growth in the leaves,
flower stalk, or both. During the growing period keep the
potting medium moist. Most Amaryllis bulbs, Hippeastrum,
produce two flowers stems, which in turn can produce up to
four to six blooms each.
When your Hippeastrum is finished flowering, cut off the dead
flower stalk and continue to grow it until August/September.
During this period keep it in good light, water regularly, and
fertilize every other week with a fertilizer high in phosphorus
and potassium. You do this to promote next season's flowers.
In August/September stop watering and fertilizing. Store the pot
with the bulb in a dark place. This begins its dormancy stage.
In December/January remove most of the soil from the top of
the container until the roots are exposed. Sprinkle some bone
meal around the roots and cover with fresh potting medium.
Water with seaweed and/or Superthrive.
In a couple of months your bulb will bloom again.
It should be noted that some gardeners are able to have their
Hippeastrum bloom twice a year, during winter and summer.