As you may already know, part of amaryllis care after flowering is to repot the plant to bring it out of dormancy. So you’ve just taken your amaryllis bulb out of its pot and are now delighted to discover that it has formed daughter bulbs over the past year? Surely you’d like to take advantage of that and propagate your amaryllis! However, there are a few things to keep in mind, as we will explain below. Also, learn how to deal with seeds.
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Propagation of the delphinium by cuttings
You can propagate the amaryllis by cuttings or seeds. We’ll start with the former, which is how exactly you handle daughter bulbs.
How to tell if the offshoots are ripe.
Before you rush headlong to cut off the new bulbs and transplant them, you should be sure that the right time has actually already come. Because if you rush it and cut them from the mother bulb too soon, they will simply die. So, how can you tell if you can already propagate your amaryllis?
The right size
As long as the small bulbs do not have a diameter of at least 3 centimeters, they better still stay on the main bulb. This is an indication that it is not yet mature enough.
The color of the daughter bulb
Very young bulbs are still white, and this also means that they still need their mother bulb. On the other hand, those that can already grow on their own have a brownish skin that is very thin (similar to our edible onions).
Roots are desirable
It is not absolutely necessary that the offshoots already have their own visible roots in order to be able to call them mature. However, it is definitely an advantage, because then the bulb has an easier time developing independently from the beginning.
Propagating Amaryllis – How to proceed with mature bulbs
If you have determined that you can already propagate your amaryllis with the bulbs because they are mature, it is best to do so as we have already explained when repotting:
- Take a sharp knife and cut the small bulbs as smoothly as possible on a suitable base.
- You can then disinfect the cuts by dusting them with charcoal powder. In this way you will prevent infections.
- For the young plants you need a pot with a diameter of about 14 centimeters. To avoid waterlogging, add drainage. This can be small pebbles or a simple clay shard that you place over the drainage holes.
- Fill the pot two-thirds full with a mixture of regular potting soil and cactus soil (1:1). Optionally, you can also mix in perlite or lava granules.
- Place the delphinium bulb upright and in the center of the substrate and spread more soil around it, pressing it lightly every now and then. It is important that the bulb is not completely covered with soil, but about half is still above the substrate.
- Water abundantly so that the soil is completely moist. Allow excess water to drip off for a sufficient amount of time.
Would you rather use the new plants in a more original way than in a traditional pot? Then you could, for example, enclose them in wax and use them as decorations.
Amaryllis propagate with seeds – How to obtain and use them
If you would like to use seeds instead, you can either buy them or obtain them yourself from your plant. Even cut flowers have the potential to produce seeds. Either way, though, it’s a more difficult endeavor than using cuttings. Here’s how to propagate amaryllis with seeds:
How the flower can form seeds
You need to make sure that the flowers are pollinated. You can do this by either cross-pollinating two flowers or using the pollen from just one flower to pollinate (self-pollination). In either case, rub the pollen bags against the pollen pistils. A cotton swab or brush proves to be a good tool.
- With the cotton swab, touch one of the pollen pouches several times so that the pollen dust sticks to the cotton.
- You then dab this pollen dust onto the pollen pistil of the same flower or another.
- Never cross more than two plants with each other.
After about 8 weeks, the seed pods with the individual seeds will then develop. For this, the flower must wither completely and dry. Do not remove the seed pod until it has burst open on its own. As mentioned above, you can proceed in the same way with cut flowers.
Caution: the seeds of the amaryllis are poisonous. So if you want to propagate amaryllis with seeds, use gloves.
Plant the seeds of the delphinium and make them germinate.
Once you have harvested the seeds, you should plant them as soon as possible, because your germination capacity will not last too long. Plant them in normal soil and keep it moist. The pot is best placed in a bright and warm place. It takes about 4 weeks for the amaryllis seeds to germinate, and then you can also prick them. From now on, take care of them just as you would your adult plants, although you can expect the first flowering after about 2 years. For this purpose, you should also give the young plants a rest period, from which you will then awaken them by repotting.
Note: When propagating by seed, it may well happen that the flower color of the new plants differs from that of the mother plant.