Hippeastrum - the star of captivating happiness
Hippeastrum is a bulbous plant of the amaryllis family with long leaves and large flowers of extraordinary beauty, crowning a high peduncle. Blooming hippeastrum will not leave indifferent even those who are not fond of flowers. This is a spectacular houseplant native to Central America, where there are about 75 species of hippeastrum. The name of the genus comes from the Greek. hipperos - cavalier and astron - star. In this article, we will talk about all the nuances of growing hippeastrum in a room.
- Botanical description of the plant
- History of hippeastrum cultivation
- Types of Hippeastrum
- Bulb selection, hippeastrum planting, transplant
- Hippeastrum conditions and care - briefly
- Features of growing hippeastrum
- Hippeastrum breeding
- Pests and diseases of hippeastrum
Botanical description of the plant
Hippeastrum (Hippeástrum), the Amaryllis family. Homeland - tropical America. About 75 species are common in nature. Currently, there are a large number of varieties that differ in the shape and color of the flowers, all of them are combined into a species Hippeastrum garden (Hippeastrum hortorum).
Hippeastrum has a large - up to 20 cm in diameter - bulb, which is only half as deep into the soil. Leaves of a hippeastrum of a belt-shaped form 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 peduncle (up to 1 m). Perianths are wide, up to 20 cm in diameter, bell-shaped, of a wide variety of shades: white, pink, red, burgundy, yellow, motley. It has large stamens with bright yellow anthers. Hippeastrum blooms in February - early March.
History of hippeastrum cultivation
The cultivation of amaryllis and hippeastrum in countries with a temperate and cold climate became possible only from the end of the 17th century, when the active construction of greenhouses in botanical gardens and private estates began. Foreign rarities brought seafarers, botanists and plant hunters encouraged by traders.
In the 18th century, many students of C. Linnaeus participated in difficult and dangerous expeditions that sometimes ended tragically. Rod Amaryllis (Amaryllis) - predecessor of Hippeastrum (Hippeastrum) - was installed in 1737 in the work of "Hemera plantarum". The botany plants referred to it were formerly called lilies (Lilium) and Lioncars (Lilio narcissus).
In the description of the garden of the mayor of Amsterdam, G. Cliffort, Linnaeus mentions four types of amaryllis, including A. beautiful (A. belladonna), and in the famous book “Species plantarum” (1753), he cites nine species of amaryllis. Later, in the process of botanical research, descriptions of amaryllises from Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and other countries appeared.
In 1821, W. Herbert established a new genus - Hippeastrum. He attributed to it more than 15 American species, discovered by himself or published earlier, including some of Linnaeus' amaryllis. Their former names have become synonymous. Later, many botanists described many hippeastrum, for example, R. Baker - 25 species, R. Philippi - about 15, X. Moore - more than 10. Now there are descriptions of about 80 types of hippeastrum and one type of amaryllis.
Hippeastrum got its modern names far from immediately after the description of this genus by Herbert. Confusion and confusion reigned for a very long time in the taxonomy of these plants. True, some species, formerly called amaryllises, were attributed to hippeastrum, while others “migrated” to neighboring, close genera.
Types of Hippeastrum
Hippeastrum Leopold (Hippeastrum leopoldii) - lridge is rounded, 5-8 cm in diameter with a short neck. Leaves are belt-shaped 45-60 cm long. Peduncle strong two-flowered. Flowers 11-14 cm long and 17-18 cm in diameter, red in the middle white at the apex. Corollary pharynx is greenish-white. It blooms in autumn. Grows on the rocky slopes of the mountains in the Peruvian Andes.
Hippeastrum spotted (Hippeastrum pardinum) - plants up to 50 cm tall. Leaves develop after the appearance of flowers, are sternate, 40-60 cm long and 5 cm wide, tapering at the base to 2-2.5 cm. Two-flowered peduncle. Flowers on pedicels 3-5cm long, funnel-shaped; perianth 10-12 cm long; the pharynx is greenish yellow; petals elongated-claw-shaped, 3.5-4.5 cm wide, greenish-white, cream, with a reddish tint and in numerous small red spots; the outer petals are wider than the inner ones. It blooms in winter and spring. It is found on the rocky slopes of the mountains in the Peruvian Andes.
Hippeastrum (Hippeastrum psittacinum) - plants 60-90 cm tall. The bulb is large, 7-11 cm in diameter. Leaves are belt-shaped, most often 6-8, 30-50 cm long and 2.5-4 cm wide, grayish-green. Peduncle strong, with 2-4 flowers. Flowers 10-14 cm long; the tube is wide-crowned, green-red in the throat; petals oblong, 2.5-3 cm wide, pointed, with red edges, with a green or yellowish-green keel, cherry-red stripes in the middle. It blooms in spring. It grows in the forests of southern Brazil.
Hippeastrum royal (Hippeastrum reginae) - pasthenia 30-50 cm tall. The bulb is rounded, 5-8 cm in diameter (the parent bulb weakly forms daughter bulbs). The leaves are linear-lanceolate, 60 cm long and 3.5-4 cm wide in the middle, tapering to 1.5 cm at the base (appear after the flowers). Peduncle with 2-4 flowers. Perianth 10-14 cm long; funnel-shaped tube, red, whitish-green star-shaped pattern in the throat; petals obovate, pointed, 2.5-3 cm wide in the middle. It grows in mountain forests in Mexico, the Antilles, Central America, Brazil, and Peru.
Hippeastrum mesh (Hippeastrum reticulatum) - plants are 30-50 cm tall. The bulb is small, with a short neck. Leaves are lanceolate, often 4-6, 30 cm long and 5 cm wide, tapering to the base, thin, green. Peduncle carries 3-5 flowers. Perianth 8-11 cm long; petals obovate, claw-shaped, 2.5 cm wide in the middle, malve-red, with numerous dark veins. It blooms in autumn, until December. Grows in the forests of southern Brazil.
Hippeastrum mesh (Hippeastrum reticulatum var. Striatifolium) - differs from Hippeastrum reticulatum in leaves with a pronounced white longitudinal stripe in the middle, large, pink-red fragrant flowers.
Hippeastrum reddish (Hippeastrum striatum / striata / rutilum) - plants 30-60 cm tall. The bulb is round, 5-9 cm in diameter, with a short neck and pale outer scales. Leaves 30-40 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, light green. Peduncle grayish-green, 30 cm long, flattened, with 2-6 flowers. Perianth 7-12 cm long; petals 2-2.5 cm wide in the middle, pointed; inner petals tapering at the bottom, with a green keel to half the petal. It is found in forests in humid shady places in southern Brazil.
Hippeastrum reddish pointy variety (Hippeastrum striatum var. Acuminatum) - leaves are belt-shaped-lanceolate, 30-60 cm long and 3.5-5 cm wide, covered with a whitish bloom on top, dark red at the base. Peduncle 50-90 cm long, rounded, with 4-6 flowers (sometimes 2 peduncles develop). The flowers are larger than those of Hippeastrum striatum, yellowish-red, at the base with a yellowish-green star-shaped pattern.
Hippeastrum reddish, lemon variety (Hippeastrum striatum var citrinum) - lemon yellow flowers.
Hippeastrum reddish (Hippeastrum striatum var fulgidum) - bulbs are large, 7-11 cm in diameter (forms daughter bulbs, with which the plant mainly propagates). The leaves are the same as those of Hippeastrum striatum, but slightly wider. Perianth 10-14 cm long; ovate petals, 8-11 cm long, scarlet, in the lower part with a green keel; outer petals 2.5-3 cm wide; internal 1.5-2 cm wide at the bottom.
Hippeastrum elegant (Hippeastrum elegans / solandriflorum) - plants 45-70 cm tall. The bulb is ovoid, large, 7-11 cm in diameter, with a short neck. Leaves are belt-shaped, up to 45 cm long and 3-3.2 cm wide. Peduncle with 4 flowers sitting on pedicels 2.5-5 cm long. The flowers are funnel-shaped, large, 18-25 cm long, whitish-yellow or greenish-white, with a long, 9-12 cm long, cylindrical tube, green, covered with purple spots or stripes, fragrant; petals obovate, 10-13 cm long and 2.5-4 cm wide, in red stripes. It blooms in January, as well as in May and June. It lives in the forests of northern Brazil to Colombia and Venezuela.
Hippeastrum striped (Hippeastrum vittatum) - plants are 50-100 cm tall. The bulb is round, 5-8 cm in diameter. Leaves, including 6-8, are belt-shaped, green, 40-70 cm long (appear after the flowers). Peduncle with 2-6 flowers on pedicels 5-8 cm long. Perianth 10-17 cm long, with a funnel-shaped tube 2.5 cm long. Petals are elongated-ovate, pointed at the apex, 2.5-4 cm wide, white at the edges, with a white longitudinal strip between the edges and the middle keel, in lilac-red stripes. It blooms in summer. It grows in forests on the rocky slopes of the mountains in the Peruvian Andes.
Bulb selection, hippeastrum planting, transplant
When choosing hippeastrum bulbs, take it seriously. Carefully inspect each onion. They should be smooth, heavy, with dry scales of brown-golden color, with good live roots.
When buying a hippeastrum in a pot, already with leaves, pay attention to its appearance. In a healthy plant, the leaves are bright green, shiny, well kept on their bases. The weak and the sick - drooping and dull.
If the red border and the dot pattern on the hippeastrum bulb are signs of a fungal disease (red burn or red rot). It is better to refrain from such a purchase: the plant will have to be treated for a long time.
The next step is landing. Hippeastrums grow in any garden land. But maximum decorativeness can be achieved if the soil composition is as follows: turf land, humus, peat in a ratio of 1: 2: 1 with the addition of wood ash and bone meal. The latter can be replaced with double superphosphate (2 teaspoons per 1 liter capacity). Phosphorus provides plants with lush flowering.
The hippeastrum pot should not be too large: the distance between its walls and the bulb is the thickness of the finger. Otherwise, the flower will grow the root system, lush leaves, acquire children, and refuse to bloom. But at the same time, the capacity should be quite stable, since the plant is large, and the flowers in some varieties reach 20–22 cm in diameter. They are especially heavy in terry forms. And the bulb during planting is buried 1/2 height, that is, it is half visible from the pot.
At the bottom of the pot, claydite is drained with a layer of 1–2 cm, a mound of soil is poured, a hippeastrum bulb is placed on it, the roots are gently straightened and they are covered with earth to the middle.
A planted plant cannot be watered from above - the soil can be compacted, which will lead to decay of the roots. Better to water through the pan.
Young plants are transplanted annually in early spring with a complete replacement of the soil, and strong adult hippeastrum - once every 2-3 years, shortly after flowering. This should be done very carefully, being careful not to damage the leaves. Between transplants, the top layer of earth in the pot is changed annually.
Hippeastrum conditions and care - briefly
Temperature. During the growing season optimally + 17 ... + 23 ° С. During dormancy, the bulbs are stored at + 10 ° C.
Lighting. Bright diffused light. Shade from direct sunlight. After flowering, full sunlight is necessary for the development and maturation of the bulbs.
Watering the hippeastrum. Abundant during flowering - the soil should be moist all the time. At rest, keep dry.
Rest period. The stem is cut off only when it is completely dry. Gradually watering is reduced, then they stop watering at all. The rest period should last 6-8 weeks from February. Then the bulb can be taken out of the pot, the “children” are separated and the mother plant is transplanted.
Hippeastrum fertilizer. Once every one to two weeks with liquid fertilizer for flowering indoor plants, diluted in the concentration recommended by the manufacturer. Top dressing begins as soon as the buds open, and finish it when the leaves begin to fade.
Air humidity. If the plant is in a room with dry air, then you can lightly spray the buds on top. Do not spray flowers or leaves, as well as bulbs during dormancy.
Hippeastrum transplant. About once every 3-4 years, during the dormant period. Soil from 2 parts of clay-turf, 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of humus, 1 part of peat and 1 part of sand.
Features of growing hippeastrum
Hippeastrum are warm and photophilous, but they should be protected from direct sunlight. It is also necessary to avoid overheating of the pot, as the bulb and plant roots are sensitive to overheating. Feel great on the windows facing south, southeast or southwest.
During growth and flowering, hippeastrum tolerates room temperatures well (up to 25 ° C). In the summer, it can be taken out into the open air, it should be protected from precipitation, in order to avoid waterlogging of the soil. During the growing season, they need a lot of light and heat, moreover, they are more adapted to moderate drying than to waterlogging.
Varieties of hippeastrum, in which leaves die off, after flowering, watering is gradually reduced, then when the leaves are dry, the plant is transferred to a dry dark room with a temperature of + 10 ... + 12 ° C, you can keep the bulb at a temperature of 5-9 ° C. It is necessary to ensure that the substrate in which the bulb does not dry out. Plants are carefully watered from a saucer. Dry leaves are carefully removed.
To exit the dormant period, the pots with onions of the hippeastrum are placed in a warm place, preferably with a temperature of 25-30 ° C, they are not watered until the peduncle appears, after which they are moderately watered for several days with warm water. When flower arrows appear on the bulbs, they are put on the window. When the peduncles reach 5-8 cm, the plants begin to water moderately with water at room temperature.
At earlier and plentiful watering the flower arrow grows more slowly, but leaves grow well. In some varieties of hippeastrum, they appear only during flowering. As the peduncle grows, watering is gradually intensified until flowers appear, however, overmoistening must be avoided.
When the flower arrow reaches a length of 12-15 cm, the plants are watered with a weak light pink solution of potassium permanganate, and 5-6 days after this procedure, phosphorus fertilizers are applied. Plants usually bloom a month after the shoot. In some hippeastrum bulbs, two arrows grow.
Watering plants should always be carried out carefully so that water does not fall on the bulb. It will be optimally watered from the pan with warm water, adding it until the whole earthen lump is wet. When watering from above, it is necessary to avoid getting water on the bulb.
Humidity in the life of plants does not play a significant role. From dust it is better to wash leaves periodically under a warm shower or wipe with a soft sponge.
Hippeastrum roots are extremely sensitive to oxygen deficiency and die off in heavy, dense soil mixtures. The soil for hippeastrum is made up of turf land, well-rotted humus, peat and coarse sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 1. It is useful to add some of the long-acting phosphate fertilizers (superphosphate, bone meal).
The hippeastrum pot is selected in accordance with the size of the bulb: the distance between it and the walls of the pot should be no more than 3 cm. Shards, gravel or expanded clay are laid on the bottom for drainage with a layer of up to 3 cm. Under the bottom of the bulb, sand is poured with a layer of 1 cm. When planted, the bulb is buried halfway from its height.
Fertilizing hippeastrum during the growing season at first (leaf formation) once every two weeks with liquid mineral fertilizer for deciduous plants, and when leaf formation is delayed - fertilizer for flowering plants, which will contribute to the formation of flower buds. There is also such an option: top dressing begins with the appearance of leaves and is given twice a month, alternating with liquid organic and mineral fertilizers (Effect, Palma, Fertility, etc.).
The particular value of hippeastrum is its biologically “programmed” development. By changing the planting dates of the bulbs, they can be made to bloom at almost any time of the year. It is precisely verified what time passes from planting a standard bulb (with a diameter of more than 7 cm) to flowering. Under industrial culture, strictly specified temperature, humidity, air, soil, and other humidity regimes are maintained in greenhouses. It is impossible to create such conditions at home, but many still manage to grow hippeastrum. To do this, you need to know their structure, biology and agricultural technology well.
When buying, you must choose a quality hippeastrum bulb: not damaged, at least 7 cm in diameter and, of course, without signs of a “red burn” lesion. If the choice is made, do not rush to plant the bulb immediately. First, put it in a bright place, upside down, and dry it for 6-8 days, then plant it in clean sand to stimulate the development of roots that appear by the end of winter, then the bulb is transplanted.
Adult hippeastrum transplantation is not necessary annually. This can be done once every 2-3 years, but then after the next dormant period, it is necessary to replace the top layer of the earth with a fresh nutrient mixture consisting of equal parts of sod, leaf, humus and sand.
Top dressing is a necessary component of care, since the hippeastrum plant is large, “eats” well and a lot, and the amount of soil in the pot is minimal.
But organic fertilizers will have to be immediately excluded, since this contributes to the emergence of fungal diseases, and bulb ones are very susceptible to them.
The best mineral fertilizers for them will be balanced in composition - say, "Kemira" universal or combined. But here it is important not to overdo it with the concentration of the solution, because the volume of soil is small and you can burn the roots. Let the portions be small - 1 g per liter of water, but frequent - during the growing season once a week.
The bulbs of the hippeastrum "dieters" will not bloom or it will be a miserable semblance of flowering. A good indicator of the correct development of the bulb is the number of leaves. There should be 7–8.
If the plant was fed correctly, then in September-October, the hippeastrum will lay a powerful flower arrow - or even two or three. And on each peduncle there are up to six large flowers.
Three options for growing hippeastrum indoors
- The bulb is planted in a pot of earth, placed on a window and taken care of during the year for the plant so that it does not enter a dormant period. Leaves develop continuously. With this care, hippeastrum bloom in winter, spring (in April) or summer.
- In order for the plant to bloom without fail in the winter, in the autumn they plant the bulb in a pot, put it in a very warm place and do not water it until a sprout appears. Then the pot is transferred to the window and watered from the pan with warm water. After flowering until August - the usual care (watering, top dressing). In August, watering is reduced, and in September they only moisten the earthen lump slightly, cut off dried leaves. There comes a period of rest, lasting 1.5-2 months. In October, the bulb is transplanted into fresh land.
- The bulb is not transplanted in the fall, but a pot of plants is placed in a warm place and moistened only occasionally from the pallet, preventing the earth from drying out completely. With the appearance of signs of new growth, the hippeastrum is transplanted. At the same time, the plant is carefully removed from the pot, and the earth is shaken off. If the lump is tightly braided by the roots, then it is gently squeezed from the sides with palms, washed with warm water and left to dry for the whole day. After drying the roots, dead and damaged are removed. Slices sprinkled with crushed charcoal.
Reproduction by seeds is used mainly in breeding work. Seeds are sown immediately after harvest.
More often hippeastrums propagate vegetatively: by children, scales and division of large bulbs. The number of children formed in the hippeastrum is small and depends on the species, variety, as well as growing conditions. Children can appear at any time of the year. At the next transplant, the children are separated - carefully broken off or cut off. Sections must be sprinkled with charcoal powder.
Very few children form large-flowered Dutch varieties of hippeastrum, so they are propagated by scales. The bulb is thoroughly washed, the leaves are cut to the root neck, the roots are greatly shortened (up to 2 cm). Then it is cut into 8-16 parts with a knife, previously it is disinfected with alcohol. Each of the obtained parts must have a part of the bottom. They are powdered with a root stimulant (root).
After this, the bulbs of the bulb are planted in containers with carefully washed coarse-grained sand or moss (sphagnum) so that their tops remain on the surface. Rooting should occur at a temperature of at least 20 "C.
When dividing a large bulb of a hippeastrum, it is planted high - so that the bottom is on the surface of the substrate. The upper part (leaves and root neck) is cut off, exempted from integumentary scales and two deep vertical incisions intersecting in the center are made. Thus, four equal shares are obtained, each of which has roots. To quickly dry the wounds, wooden sticks are inserted into the incisions (crosswise).
An onion thus prepared is placed in a bright place and watered from a tray. After some time, children form at the base of each lobe. Hippeastrum propagation in the last two ways is best in November, when the scales contain the maximum supply of nutrients.
Pests and diseases of hippeastrum
If after planting the bulbs hippeastrum does not grow, although the conditions of detention are good - remove the onion and check its condition, it should be healthy and firm to the touch. If the bulb does not start growing within 1.5 months after planting, then it is clearly not viable.
In the second year shoot does not grow from the bulb - this happens if there was a lack of nutrition during the first year. Always continue to feed the plant until the old leaves are completely wilted.
The leaves of the hippeastrum become pale green, the flowers wilt - maybe the plant was not watered for a long time. During flowering, watering is somewhat more plentiful so that the soil is moist all the time.
The plant grows well first, then hippeastrum growth suddenly slows down - damage to the bulb by pests is possible. Check for larvae in the soil and treat the soil with an insecticide.
The flowers darken or blacken - if it is too cold and (or) damp. Cut off the damaged flowers, and rearrange the plant in a warmer place.
Hippeastrum flowers turn pale - if there is too much sun. Shade the hippeastrum from direct sunlight.
Hippeastrum leaves become very pale and lethargic - if too damp. Make large drainage holes and drainage in the pot. Allow the soil to dry out almost completely before the next watering.
Hippeastrum does not bloom - if a dormant period was not provided, if the plant was not fed in the previous year, if the place for it was not light enough, if it is too cold.