How to Grow and Care for Hippeastrum in Containers

Hippeastrum flower

Intro: Hippeastrum is a bulb flower often grown in indoor gardens. It is easy to grow and easy to care for, and when taken indoors to overwinter during the cold winter months, it can still bloom indoors. Hippeastrum has large flowers and two to seven long (up to 3 feet) leaves. The flower stem can reach 2.5 feet tall and supports two to 15 large flowers, each being up to 8 inches across. Hippeastrum fowers can be red, pink, white, orange, yellow and green. Some may have multiple colors with stripes or different colored petal edges. The beautiful hippeastrum flowers last for two to three weeks.


Scientific Name: Hippeastrum spp.

Plant Type: Perennial bulb flower

Light: Part shade

Water: After planting hippeastrum bulbs, water just enough to keep the potting soil moist. When growth appears, let the top half of the soil dry out between waterings. When the hippeastrum plant is fully grown, keep potting soil constantly moist, but never soggy.

Fertilizer: Use a slow-release fertilizer when planting the bulb. Use a bulb fertilizer every two to three weeks during the flower's growth period in the spring.

Temperature: The hippeastrum bulb should not be exposed to frost. Keep this plant in an indoor garden until outdoor temperatures reach the high 50s Fahrenheit.

Pests and Diseases: Most insect pests and diseases can be avoided if you do not overwater this container plant. Bulb scale mites, bulb rot and red blotch are problems you may encounter.

Propagation: Once the hippeastrum plant has died back and gone into dormancy, you can find small bulbs at the base of the parent bulb. Detach these if they are at least an inch across. Keep as many roots attached as possible, and then grow them as you would with mature bulbs. The bulbs will not flower again until they reach 3.5 inches across. You can also grow hippeastrum from seed.

Misc. Info: These container plants are often called Amaryllis, but Amaryllis is another genus in the Hippeastrum family (Amaryllidaceae). Provide your hippeastrum with good air circulation.

To get flowers every year, allow the hippeastrum to go through a dormant period. Once flowers begin to wilt, deadhead them and reduce waterings. Allow the leaves to turn yellow and dry up. The bulb is storing nutrients at this point, so don’t remove the foliage until it has completely died. After the leaves have completely died back, cut them off at the base, and then dig up bulbs (or leave them in the plant container in dry potting soil). Plant in January after removing the dried roots, and you should get a new hippeastrum bloom in March.


Additional information