The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Cultivation instructions for Hippeastrum Hybrids


Several people have been asking about growing these lovely showy bulbs. These instructions have come from Andy Houghton, NCCPG Collection Holder of Hippeastrum Hybrids, so credit goes to him….


Only purchase top quality, largest size bulbs having as many live roots as possible, from a reputable supplier in October – end January. Inspect carefully prior to purchase for signs of bruising, mildew or rot, particuarly around the neck, body and underneath the bulb. A small amount of mould may sometimes appear round the roots, don’t worry. The mould usually appears when the bulbs are taken from storage into warmer conditions. I usually just brush it off.

Plant immediately unless otherwise indicated. If not planting immediately,it is recommended you dust your bulb with Green Sulhur as a protection against mildew and storage rot prior to storing at 5 degrees C in a dark, dry place.

Inspect regularly to ensure your bulb remains healthy.
Compost, different mixes suit different growers. I have used, with some success, a mixture of 50% good quality peat and 50% perlite. These are widely available through your local garden centres.

If your bulb has live roots, allow them to soak up water for 12/24 hours before planting by sitting the base of the bulb on a jam jar of tepid water, ensuring that only the roots reach the water. Do not allow the base of the bulb to get wet. Gently pat the roots dry after soaking.

Choose a pot large enough to give the bulb room to grow.
Fill the bottom of the pot with your compost mix; hold the bulb with its roots dangling down into the pot, and start filling the pot, firming the compost as you go. I usually leave the top 2/3rds of the bulb exposed, I can then see if the bulb is lookiing healthy and no problems are occurring.

Water the bulb using tepid water, just water around the base of the bulb, never water the bulb itself, try not to get water inside the bulb, they tend to rot.

Put your newly potted bulb onto the windowsill, or into the greenhouse or conservatory.


Keep the compost just moist, until you see a shoot appear from the top of the bulb. Try to use tepid or rainwater, which has been left to stand at room temp. for at least 24 hours.

If you keep bulbs on a windowsill, the flower stem (scape) will bend towards the light. Turn the pot once a day to prevent the scape twisting. You may need to support taller stems, particularly doubles and large singles. Once the flower bud starts to swell, the plant can be moved to a slightly cooler spot, this prolongs the life of the flower.

Either remove the flowers after they have died OR let them die naturally. Do not remove the scape but allow it to die back naturally so that nutrients can return to the bulb. The scape will go mushy at some point and flop over the bulb and pot, now you can remove it.

Commence feeding with a balanced NPK formula containing trace elements and apply with every watering after 6 weeks’ growth. Some hybrids are much slower to root than others and therefore it is recommended that you delay feeding until new roots have developed. You can check this by either carefully removing the bulb and compost, you will soon see if there are any roots. Alternatively look underneath the pot and see if there are any roots at the bottom of the pot.


Your bulb will continue to produce leaves through the year. Try not to remove the leaves as the leaves are better left to die back naturally. If you suspect disease though, remove the leaf and dispose of it.

Keep feeding your bulb with a good balanced fertiliser, always remembering to water around the bulb, and never over the top.
During late spring into summer and autumn, depending on when the risk of frost has passed; your bulb can be stood outside, in a sheltered, shady spot in the garden.
Keep an eye out for any sign of pests and/or disease, which may start appearing.


Your bulb will need a cooler period of growing which will help form the next flower buds deep within the bulb.

Cease feeding early-mid October and move your plant to a light, cool place (13 degrees C) in mid October – mid December. Continue watering, keeping the compost just moist, for a minimum of 8 weeks, but preferably 10-12 weeks at this lower temperature. This will take you into late December until the end of January. At the end of the “cool period”, remove the top 5cm compost and replace with a fresh mix. Annual re-potting is unnecessary and plants are better left 2-3 years between repotting.

Good luck!

More blog posts by amblealice

Previous post: GOOD NEWS!!!

Next post: New border -Part 2



Thank you Amblealice for this imformation, it was kind of you to let us all know how and what to do, the credit might not be due to you but you deserve it for all the information you have typed out in order we can learn. Thank you for sharing your information.

14 Oct, 2009


I don't surpose you have a pic of this flower ?do you as i can't remember what it looks like>>>>old age creepihg on :o)

14 Oct, 2009


Great blog Lou. lots of good info there. Like Swanky, Ito would like to see a photo of the bulb and (if poss.) the flower?

14 Oct, 2009


Have posted a pic for you Swanky and Ian....I should have more than this...but they are hiding from

14 Oct, 2009


Thanks Lou - an interesting read. I notice it says to keep watering during the cool period up to December....not sure what to do now lol Interesting that it says they are best not repotted every year .

15 Oct, 2009


I think they are like a lot of bulbs....flower better when somewhat potbound. I think the continuation of watering helps keep the bulb make good use of available food and keeps the bulb turgid for when it is on "starvation rations".....

15 Oct, 2009


Thank you for this blog. I usualy grow them but not for a few years now. I always wonder what to do after the flowers fade.

19 Oct, 2009

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by amblealice

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    21 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    8 Jul, 2009