Each season has its own characteristic flower or plant, and at the end of the year in stores there have been appearing floral bells in Christmas colors, when seeing it, we are racking the brains of de-mining the name. Really hippeastrum is not a memorable name, but we never forget saturated color of the flower, bell-shaped flowers on the stem. In addition, this flower really suits to the winter months, when we only wish to impart more colors to the gloomy and dark evenings.
The complicated name
It turns out, that the often heard comparison of the stars and the knights has close relationship, because the flower's name ‘hippeastrum’ comes from the words ‘hippeus’ (knight) and ‘astron’ (star). Since this plant is a native of Amarillis family, then quite often, without burdening themselves with a difficult pronunciation of the name, the plant is known as Amarillis, but certainly it is not the right one, because it is quite another plant.
Hippeastrum is one of those plants that certainly you can believe to the picture on the pot, that the flower really will look exactly as shown. This plant is characteristic of large, bell or funnel kind flowers, the most common are various red tones, but it also occurs in white, yellow, orange, purple and even mottled. Although the flower is devoid of inherent flavor, it serves as a decorative plant, because on the one stem may bloom up to six flowers. If hippeastrum grows in the pot, then to gorgeous flowers will have to wait a relatively long time, up to 4-6 weeks. The flowering time depends on how big the bulb managed to grow, as it should be at least 10 cm in diameter.
If in your home hippeastrum comes for the first time, it is important to follow the proper planting. The pot should be small, with a diameter of 15-20 cm - so that between the bulb and the edge of the pot is a two finger gap. Fill the pot with PlantFood VermiCompost (1 part) and ground mixture (3 parts) in a proportion 1: 3. Even though the bulb should be planted only until half or even less, the pot should be deep, because the plant has a lot of roots. Too deeply planted bulb after the first flowering will not bloom again, but after that will wither away completely. Fertilization should be done only when the stem has grown in length of the span, and shall be made every 2 weeks with Indoor Plant Food full fertilizer. Conversely, before the dormancy period fertilizer dose should be reduced - once a month.
The most interesting feature of this flower is that before the glorious flowering it requires a dormancy period, which means - to keep moderate watering, not watering the bulb and disposing it in a cool place where the temperature is 16-18 degrees. If you want the flower to flourish in a pot after a year, then there is definitely a need for three-month dormancy period, in which the soil fertilization is interrupted and the plant is stored in a cool place. Temperature change is necessary for establishing new buds that cannot be possible in too hot weather. The watering during dormancy period must be carried out only every 2-3 weeks, so much so that the roots do not dry out. Immediately after the dormancy period you can replant the bulbs and move the pot to a warmer place and gradually resume watering.