Because Vero Beach is located in zone 10 (9 if you disagree with the latest USDA Plant Hardiness Map ;)) amaryllis are planted here as outdoor perennials with a March through May bloom cycle.
Last Amaryllis of the Season, 5/14/12
First Amaryllis to Bloom, Ranchero, 3/21/12
Right around the time the final, pretty pink one opened, the seed pod from the original bloomer (directly above) was on the verge of breaking apart:
In the past, I’ve grown amaryllis ONLY from fall-planted bulbs, but living in a year round gardening climate has piqued my interest in starting everything from seed.. As you can see, this particular pod was PACKED with myriad flowers-to-be!
Each Amaryllis seedpod holds dozens of papery seeds!
Zeroing in on the bottom-most seed to the right, you’ll notice a small circular bump. That bump is the seed’s embryo, but be advised➡ not every seed has one! To separate viable seeds from chaff, hold each little disc between your thumb and index finger; if you can’t feel a tiny bump of embryo, the seed is chaff to be discarded.
There are three basic methods for germinating the remaining viable seeds: potting medium, paper towel/baggie method, and the one that is less messy!🙄 Guess which one I’m showing you? (The first two don’t count!!! )
Select a clear glass container with a wide opening and fill it 2/3 of the way to the top with warm water. Float each amaryllis seed on the water’s surface, like so:
Finding a Flamingo to guard the seeds is a huge help!😉
For purposes of this little experiment, I chose to work with only 6 seeds which I floated (and photographed) on 5/22/12. I placed the glass on a pass-through shelf between my kitchen and dining area because it receives bright, indirect light from sun-up to noon.
After 6 days, 3 seeds began showing white roots that continued to grow at individual rates. On the 9th day, another seed sprouted a bit of root that has grown very slowly. As of today, two are still dormant, so I removed the 4 germinating seeds to show you their progress thus far:
Amaryllis seeds germinated by flotation method, 6/8/12
Technically two of these seeds are “ready” for potting because the white roots are longer than a .05″, but I’ve chosen to wait awhile longer. The hint of green you see is evidence of the first set of leaves. When these are fully visible, (and the roots a bit stronger) I’ll share the careful process of repotting and what to expect as they grow into bulblets!
Right now, all 6 are back in the water glass, but the flamingo has the night off so there was little sense in taking a picture!😉 I’m hoping the last two seeds will sprout! It can take up to a month, so there’s still a way to go.
Until next time……