Hippeastrum are a real joy to grow and if planted and cared for correctly will give you years of enjoyment. The average life span of a well cared for bulb is 15 to 20 years.
Some of mine are 25 years old and have given many bulblets as a reward for good care.
These ‘old girls’ have a bulb weighing in at a minimum of 4kg, with a circumference of 50cm or more.
Bulbs received during the months of July to September are dormant (asleep) so all you will need to do is to pot them into your pot of choice or into a well prepared garden bed that is moist but not wet.
All Hippeastrums must be planted with their necks out of the ground.
Plant into well prepared beds that drain well, rich in compost or into pots
containing a good quality potting mix.
Bulbs must only be watered from the top.
If planting into pots, the pot must drain freely with no tray under it.
If left to stand in water for too long the roots will rot.
The soil must be moist before planting the bulb.
A slow release fertiliser can be added at time of planting.
Full sun is best for the bulb and for future flowering.
Give a liquid feed of a seaweed based product once a week to help them
grow back their leaves but don’t over water them.
Cut back on water in Winter, but as soon as it starts to warm feed and water well.
As soon as the scapes appear you must feed the bulb. The scape is the ‘spike’ on which the blooms are borne.
A scape grows from the side of the bulb neck.
The neck of the bulb is where the leaves develop and grow.
When dividing a clump of bulbs you must dig a fair distance away from the clump to avoid damage to the bulbs by accidentally putting the fork into a bulb.
If you do damage a bulb, dip it into honey, this acts as an anti-bacterial agent.
Plant the damaged bulb into a pot and water carefully. Nurse it along as you would, care for yourself if you had a cold or flu.
The Papilio Hippeastrum is listed as an evergreen is as much as it doesn’t have a full dormancy period as other Hippeastrum do. It will drop a few leaves usually after flowering, but it quickly replaces them.
Stress of over watering or heavy rain can turn the leaves yellow, but, with time, they do recover.
This bulb must only be planted in an easterly position and protected from frost.
It can not tolerate afternoon sun in summer, as the leaves suffer from sun burn.