If your amaryllis has formed seeds after flowering, you can easily sow them yourself and grow new plants from them. You can read here how to do this correctly.
When the flowers of the magnificent amaryllis wither, the plants sometimes form seed pods – and many hobby gardeners wonder whether they can sow the seeds they contain themselves. The good news: Yes, that’s not a problem, because amaryllis seeds germinate relatively quickly and with absolutely no problems, provided that you proceed correctly with the sowing and do not lose too much time.
Do not wait until the seed capsule has completely dried up and has already opened because then the paper-thin, flat seeds will scatter on the carpet or the windowsill and will be difficult to collect. It is better if you cut off the still closed seed capsule as soon as it turns slightly yellow. Open the capsule and first sprinkle the seeds on a kitchen towel. Then you should sow them directly – if they become too dry, they lose their ability to germinate.
Sowing amaryllis seeds: step by step
Fill the seed tray with nutrient-poor seed compost
Scatter amaryllis seeds on the surface
Sieve seeds thinly with sand
Cover the bowl with a transparent hood
Set up light and warm
Ventilate the bowl regularly and keep the seeds moist
Depending on the parent species, the self-raised offspring can also have unusual flower colors
Amaryllis seeds are a lucky bag
Like most plants, the different varieties of amaryllis are also special cultivated forms – they cannot, therefore, be propagated from seeds correctly. Most of the self-grown plants fall back into their original shape, i.e. mainly from red flowers. What comes out in the end, however, also depends on the parent species: If they have different colored and – ideally – no red flowers, the offspring may also have unusual, perhaps even multicolored flowers.
If the ovules were pollinated by another flower of the same plant (amaryllis are self-fertile), however, the genetic and thus also the color range of the offspring is usually less spectacular. In principle, however, the gene for the red flower color is quite dominant in all amaryllis, as this is the original color of the wild species.
Pollinate amaryllis flowers in a targeted manner
By doing the pollination yourself, you can be relatively certain that the mother plant is actually forming seed pods – bees and other insects largely fail as pollinators, as they are rarely found in the room. In addition, you can determine which the second plant should donate its pollen. It is definitely advisable to choose a plant with a different flower color as a pollen donor to get as many offspring with special flower colors as possible.
After flowering, the amaryllis forms seed capsules if pollination is successful
How to proceed with pollination:
Use a cotton swab or fine hairbrush to remove pollen from the anthers of a mother plant as soon as the flowers open.
Dab the pistils of a second flowering plant with the cotton swab or brush.
After pollination, remove all petals and place a small paper bag over the pollinated flowers of the corolla.
Seal the bottom of the bag with tape so that the opening is close to the flower stem.
As soon as the ovaries swell, remove the bag again.
Sow amaryllis seeds quickly
After harvesting the seeds, fill a seed tray with nutrient-poor seed compost and scatter the seeds on the surface. Then these are thinly sieved with sand. Carefully but thoroughly water the freshly sown amaryllis seeds with an atomizer and cover the bowl with a transparent plastic hood. Then place the container in a bright, warm place, ventilate it from time to time and keep the seeds evenly moist.
The freshly sown amaryllis seeds need sufficient moisture
Amaryllis seeds only germinate quickly and reliably if they are sown immediately after harvest. As a rule, you can discover the first soft green after just over a week. As soon as the first two elongated leaflets are a few centimeters long, the young plants are pricked out into small individual pots and after four weeks supplied with a weakly dosed, liquid flower fertilizer for the first time through the irrigation water.
When the ice saints are over, you should continue to cultivate the plants on the balcony or terrace – here they grow much faster than in the apartment. Put them in a place out of direct sunlight and make sure that the soil never dries out. Fertilization continues every three to four weeks until the end of September.
In autumn the young amaryllis plants have already formed small bulbs. In contrast to the large amaryllis bulbs, the leaves of the seedlings are not allowed to dry out, but the plants are cultivated indoors through the winter by continuing to provide them with regular water. However, fertilization is extremely sparing in the winter months.
In the second spring after sowing the seeds, move the young amaryllis plants to larger pots and put them back on the terrace towards the end of May. Bring them back in autumn and cultivate them “green” for another winter.
Towards the end of the third outdoor season – from the beginning of September – you should take a close look at the individual onions. Anyone who is now at least the size of a table tennis ball can dry out for the first time by stopping watering and storing the onions in the pot in a cool place in your apartment as soon as the leaves have turned yellow.
They are then cared for like the larger amaryllis bulbs: repot them in November and water them lightly. With a little luck, the plants will flower for the first time in December – and you will finally find out which flower colors the new amaryllis contain. Who knows: maybe there will even be an extraordinary plant that you can market as a new variety?
Lisa N. Marsh is an editor at Crown-Times, Home & Garden.
Being from the north, Lisa not only loves Roses and Peonies but also has a soft spot for all things nautical and Scandinavian country style. As a home and garden editor, she is always on the lookout for clever garden design ideas, practical outdoor furniture, and special accessories.