The knight star is a subtropical bulbous plant, also known colloquially as amaryllis. As a result, its life cycle differs significantly from that of other indoor plants.
With its life cycle and storage organ, the flower has adapted to the alternation between rainy and dry seasons in its homeland. The term Hippeastrum is botanically correct, but the name Amaryllis has become common. Countless attractive varieties and species have emerged in recent years through extensive breeding work.
The Amaryllis is easy to care for and therefore very popular, and it also convinces with its beautiful flowers. What is particularly striking about the amaryllis are the colourful, magnificent flowers, which sit on long stems. Most amaryllis have a red flower, but there are also white, red-and-white, pink or salmon-colored flowers and double varieties.
The popular houseplant of the winter months can be individually arranged depending on the style or purpose and offers a tasteful, wintry decoration in a simple and quick way. As a special feature, the wax amaryllis has been popular for a number of years. The large bulbs are coated in colored wax and thrive without any soil or pot. The wax protects against drying out and is decorative at the same time. Find out below how to care for the amaryllis.
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Worth knowing about the Amaryllis
Botanical name: Hippeastrum vittatum Other names: Knight’s star, Hippeastrum Use: houseplant, cut flower Origin: South America, from areas with a pronounced dry season Flowering period: September to March, depending on planting date Flower colours: scarlet, white, pink, salmon-colored, two-tone Special features: For one flower in winter, the onion plant needs a rest period in summer. Plant with 3 growing seasons. As a flower stalk in the vase, the amaryllis delights with long and lush blooms. When the amaryllis has faded, the bulb does not have to be thrown away. With a bit of luck and the right care, the amaryllis can delight with new flowers year after year.
In which location do the Amaryllis plants feel most comfortable?
As a houseplant, the knight star prefers a location that is as bright as possible without direct sunlight during flowering. Temperatures of 18 to 21 °C are ideal, flowering is longer at lower temperatures. The bulb can survive in the garden in summer, but from October the hippeastrum hybrid should be protected from frost indoors. Follow the Amaryllis care instructions and enjoy the classic Christmas flower for years to come. Caring for the amaryllis after flowering is particularly important.
Fact sheet for caring for amaryllis in pots:
During flowering: remove wilted flowers.
After flowering: remove faded flowers only. Leave leaves on the plant.
Plant with green leaves: Water and fertilize.
Yellowed leaves before flowering: keep cool first, no more watering. When buds form, water regularly again and put in the room.
How do I care for my amaryllis bulb before it blooms?
You can plant amaryllis bulbs in potting soil from October to April. You can buy the right potting soil from us. Plant the bulbs so that half are sticking out of the pot. Water immediately after planting and place the pot in a bright spot. As soon as the bulb begins to sprout and grow, you can water it a little more, but it should never become waterlogged. Lots of water leads to heavy growth and the stem of the amaryllis flower becomes soft and unstable. Amaryllis bulbs are very undemanding and will tolerate a certain amount of drought. In addition to the possibility of growing them yourself, you can buy already potted amaryllis plants and simply enjoy them.
Our gardening tip: Before potting, remove the dry, outer husks on the onion. This simple and effective hygiene measure helps to prevent diseases and pests.
How do I care for my amaryllis during flowering?
Place your Hippeastrum in a bright spot on the windowsill out of direct sunlight during the flowering phase. A room temperature of 18 to 21 °C is ideal. In this phase, the flowering houseplant only needs moderate watering. Water your amaryllis regularly every 2 to 3 days. After 1 hour excess irrigation water should be poured off. Too much water causes the stem to grow too much and stability suffers. The surface of the earth is allowed to dry before the next watering, only then is watered again. Avoid waterlogging of amaryllis.
As soon as the flower stalks and leaves appear, you can start fertilizing. It is important to apply fertilizer regularly during the growing season if you want to experience impressive blooms again in the coming year. The minerals contained in the fertilizer promote development and are stored in the bulb. This will ensure a renewed abundance of flowers in the coming year.
Strong amaryllis bulbs form two to four flower stalks with impressive individual flowers. Depending on the room temperature, the colorful winter bloomers will delight you for many weeks. For large bulbs with multiple stems, you can expect a flowering time of 8 to 10 weeks.
In addition to planting in substrate, there is the option of placing the amaryllis bulbs on special glasses. The beautiful amaryllis flowers appear in front of the green leaves and bring a special touch to your home. Such an arrangement is also a special gift as a gift, which, if cared for properly, will give you pleasure for a long time. Wax amaryllis are also magical gift ideas that you can also order online.
Our gardening tip: Water little while the flower stalk is developing. This will give you a short and stable handle. Watering every 2 to 4 days is only necessary when the plant opens the flower. If the flower is too warm or receives too much water, the durability is reduced and the stability is reduced.
Amaryllis after flowering — how to take care of it after it has faded?
Faded amaryllis do not need to be discarded. Thanks to the Amaryllis care guide, you can look forward to new blooms next year. Important when caring for the Amaryllis: After flowering, only cut off wilted flowers! You should leave the style on the bulb until it has completely dried up. The onion stores the nutrients from the leaves and thus ensures the next flowers. If the green leaves are cut off, the plant may only sprout and not bloom in the coming year. Of course, you can remove dried leaves after a while. The amaryllis after flowering can also be in the basement or stairwell.
During the growth phase after flowering, you can place your amaryllis at 20-24 °C, water it more often and supply it with fertilizer for flowering plants regularly. In this way, the leaves develop perfectly and the bulb grows again.
Ritterstern Care: Amaryllis in summer
Potted amaryllis can be in the shade on the balcony or in the garden from mid-May to August. Depending on the degree of maturity, the plant has more or less leaves. Make sure you have enough light during this phase and protect the Hippeastrum hybrids from being eaten by snails.
Ritterstern Care: Amaryllis in autumn
The dormant phase of the onion plant begins at the end of August. Stop watering and fertilizing completely. A dark place during the rest phase is ideal. The bulbs stay in the pot, the soil is allowed to dry out and the growth phase is over. At this point, no special Amaryllis care is necessary, it is important that the location is frost-free. A warm place is possible, but not necessary. The plant begins to pull nutrients from the leaves and store them in the bulb. After 6 to 8 weeks you can remove the bulb from the dry, old soil. After the rest period, you can repot or replant the knight star with fresh substrate and place it in a warm location. The following diagram shows how best to care for the genus Hippeastrum all year round:
Can I also use amaryllis as a cut flower?
Amaryllis as cut flowers are extremely decorative and very durable. The large flowers on long stems are a feast for the eyes with greens such as pine branches and simply an incomparable splendor for many occasions. Whether as a bouquet in a vase, arrangement or table decoration, you will attract attention with the species of these flowers. The amaryllis stem tends to curl up at the end. This makes it difficult to absorb water. Wrap the bottom of the amaryllis stem with scotch tape to prevent it from rolling up. The following varieties are available in our garden centers (depending on availability):
Trivia: If possible, place the vase or arrangement in a cool room overnight. This will significantly extend the life of the flowers. Use a tall vase and make sure you change the water regularly. Amaryllis flowers last between 8 and 10 days at temperatures of 16 to 20 °C. If the bouquet is warmer, its shelf life is shortened.
Amaryllis in the jar
Even without soil, the amaryllis can be made to bloom. For this you need special glasses or an amaryllis vase. Small-flowered varieties are most suitable, because there is a risk of tipping over with large-flowered varieties. Fill the jar with water and place the onion on the opening. It is important that the onion does not get wet. Now it’s just a matter of waiting and refilling water from time to time if necessary.
Amaryllis in wax — how do you get a gorgeous bloom?
Would you like to enjoy amaryllis flowers without any care ? Then the waxed amaryllis trend is for you. The wax-coated amaryllis bulbs set very special accents and are a distinctive eye-catcher that is available in different colours. A layer of wax in gold, silver or red is particularly suitable for Christmas. Place the onion directly on the window sill and without any care, the onion will begin to sprout. The location should be bright with temperatures around 20 °C. Avoid direct sunlight. After 4 to 6 weeks you can enjoy the flowering. Enjoy the unique decoration during the Advent and Christmas season and the wax amaryllis is also a magical idea as a gift.
Our gardening tip: rotate the bulb regularly so the stalk grows upright and straight. Be careful not to place the waxed amaryllis directly on the heater or stove.
Don’t want to throw away your amaryllis bulbs after flowering? Then, after flowering, rid the bulb of the wax. Then plant the amaryllis in permeable potting soil. After just a few weeks, the onion has formed roots and care is carried out in the same way as for ordinary potted plants. A stay in the garden and the resting phase should also be carried out in the same way as the other plants.
What pests and diseases can amaryllis get?
Amaryllis plants are hardy potted plants. However, the following diseases can affect the knight star:
root and bulb rot
Can be triggered by waterlogging or watering too often. If the rot has not progressed too far, repotting and sparing watering can be enough to save the Amaryllis plants.
If your Ritterstern is outside in summer, please watch out for snail infestation. The onions are a delicacy for snails.
FAQ — Frequently asked questions about amaryllis
Is the onion plant poisonous?
Unfortunately, all parts of the amaryllis plant are poisonous. Onions in particular are highly toxic and deadly if only two to three grams are consumed. The plant should therefore be kept out of the reach of small children and pets.
Why does the amaryllis plant not flower again and what do I have to consider when caring for the amaryllis after it has faded?
If the amaryllis plant only leaves and does not bloom in the second year, this can have various causes. With the right care, it’s easy to see new flower stalks starting in early December. Pay attention to the amaryllis care instructions and how to water and treat the amaryllis after it has faded. A missing resting phase, cutting too early or too little fertilizer is often the cause of a flowering lazy plant. Houseplants often flower later than in the first year.
How can I propagate an amaryllis?
Amaryllis are most commonly propagated by onion bulbs. These small bulbs that form next to or around the mother bulbs can be gently peeled off. The ideal time for this is late summer, before the main bulb is planted.
Why is the flower stalk too long and unstable?
Too much water was given during sprouting. Attention, the onion also suffers from too much water.
Why is the flowering period too short?
Choose a cooler location to enjoy the splendor longer.
Can amaryllis be propagated by seed?
If your amaryllis produces seeds, you can try this method of propagation. The seed is only germinable for a short time and is therefore sown in seed soil immediately after harvest. It can take a few years for the first flowers to appear on the seedling. It is important that you take good care of the amaryllis after flowering so that the seeds can ripen.
What are True Amaryllis?
Belladonna lilies are called true amaryllis. Native to South Africa, the subtropical bulbous plant is rarely available. Pink trumpet flowers appear on bright red flower stalks in August. The leaves are only formed after flowering.
Blog posts about Amaryllis
Caring for, decorating and planting amaryllis in wax
The waxed amaryllis is ideal as a gift or as a trendy Christmas decoration. The Hippeastrum plant belongs to the subtropical bulbous plants and is available in many different varieties.
Amaryllis in wax