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The large, showy flowers of amaryllis, Hippeastrum x hybridum , they can add amazing color to the garden and create perfect indoor displays.

Suitable for growing outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9-11, the flowers can be seen forced to bloom inside and they are a popular addition to winter holiday décor.

The home gardener can propagate amaryllis in three ways: by separating the offsets, dividing the bulbs, and growing from seed.

In this article, we will discuss how to propagate amaryllis from seed and the advantages of doing so.

This is what we will cover:


Starting these spectacular flowers from seed is certainly a process, as it can take three to five years for the plant to flower, depending on the variety. Https:// 37 / html / container.html

A close up horizontal image of pink and white flowers in a large bouquet.

Since some types of amaryllis are expensive or can be difficult to find, collecting seeds from existing plants can make sense.

However, you should be aware that most of these plants are hybrids, and the seeds you collect will not faithfully produce the parent plant, but they may exhibit some of its characteristics.

Since amaryllis hybridizes easily, by cross-pollinating and collecting seeds from your own plants, you can easily create new and unique varieties!

Since the seeds aren't widely available on the market, the best way to obtain them is from other growers or by pollinating and hybridizing your own flowers.


It is likely that outdoor grown flowers are naturally pollinated by insects, but plants grown indoors must be helped by hand pollination.


The flowers are self-fertile, so you can do this even if you only have one plant. The seeds will not produce a perfect clone in the case of hybrids, but the plants are likely to retain some of the traits of the parent plant.

A horizontal image of different varieties of Hippeastrum in full bloom in various shades of red outside a residence, rendered on a soft focus background.

Or if you have more than one variety, you can experiment with cross pollination.

To hand pollinate your amaryllis, take a small brush and gently brush it over the anther of the flower to collect pollen.

Pollen is the yellow powder that coats the tips of curved stamens, as you can see in the following image:

A close-up macro image of the inside of a Hippeastrum flower, showing the pollen on the anthers and the stamen in the center.

Then you will use the brush to gently transfer the collected pollen to the stigma of another flower, or the same flower. The stigma is at the top of the style, sticking out from the center of the flower.

For best results, repeat this process once a day for a few days, to make sure pollination is successful.

If done correctly, as the flower begins to fade, you will see a small green pod begin to develop at the base of the flower, behind the petals.

A close-up of the Hippeastrum pods that develop after the flower has faded, rendered on a soft focus background.

Over time, this pod will swell and eventually turn yellow or brown, dry out, and split open at the seams. This ripening process usually takes between four and six weeks.


When the pod has dried out and started to crack, you can cut it off the plant. Pods are generally divided into three sections, each containing 50-60 seeds, so you'll have plenty of them!

A horizontal close up image of a Hippeastrum pod that has been opened, rendered on a soft focus background.

Place the ripe pod in a dark place for a few days to continue drying.

To collect the seeds, shake the pod over a bowl or plate and let the seeds fall out. Discard any that appear to be damaged or moldy.

A close-up of the strappy foliage and spent flower stalk of a Hippeastrum with the broken pod open on a wooden surface.

Spread them out on a paper plate or tray to dry for a few more days, or up to a week.

For best results, you should sow the seeds as soon as possible after drying, as they have a short shelf life and do not store very well. As these are tropical plants, they do not need a cold stratification period before planting.

If you need to store them, dry the seeds for a week and then store them in a sealed container in a cool, dark place like a pantry. Keep in mind that they will lose viability the longer they are in storage.


You can sow your seeds directly into a container or individual seed trays filled with modified potting mix with perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage.

Sow one seed per cell if using flats, or an inch apart in your container, and cover with a little potting medium, about an eighth of an inch deep. Well water.

Maintain an even moisture in the potting mix, but don't allow it to soak up. In three to five weeks, you will see that they have germinated, as they will produce small grass-like leaves.

Alternatively, you can choose to sprout the seeds before planting them in the ground.

An advantage of this method is that you can start a large number of them and only plant those that have actually sprouted.

One way to do this is to float them on the water. This can be done by taking a clear glass or baking sheet and filling it with at least an inch of warm water. Spread the seeds on top, discarding any that sink to the bottom, as these will not be viable.

Cover the container with a loose lid and place it in a warm area, somewhere you can remember to check it daily and refill the water if it has evaporated.

In one to four weeks, viable seeds will germinate and produce a single root. This root will eventually grow into a bulb. When the root is half an inch or more, the seedling is ready for planting.

An alternative method of germination is to wrap the seeds in a damp paper towel placed in a sealed zip-lock bag. Check the bag daily and spray with water; do not allow the paper to dry out.

A horizontal close up image of a small plastic bag with wet paper towels to germinate seeds, placed on a gold and white surface.

It should take one to four weeks for the seeds to germinate, and you can plant them when the root is at least a half inch long.

Plant the sprouted seeds in a sterile, well-draining potting mix in small individual containers or in groups in a larger container. Make sure the containers are at least three to four inches deep.

Use a toothpick to create a small hole for the root. Gently place the root into the hole, letting the seed coat rest on the ground or barely covered. Leave an inch or two of space between the seedlings, as they don't mind being a bit crowded.

Water gently and place it in a warm place out of direct sunlight.

Don't forget to label and date your pots!

As the roots grow into bulbs, they can be transplanted into larger pots.


The sprouts will initially resemble a blade of grass and will continue to grow slowly for years to come.

Make sure it's diluted or the fertilizer can damage tiny plants.

The seedlings should be kept in a warm place, such as a greenhouse or inside a window with lots of indirect light.

The soil should be allowed to dry an inch down between waterings, but do not allow it to dry out completely or become too saturated. During the winter months you can put them under a grow light .

A close-up of the developing young Hippeastrum seedlings in a pot pictured with filtered sunlight.

When the foliage is four to six inches long, you can transplant your seedlings into individual pots at least six inches deep so the bulbs have room to develop.

Patience is key! Sometimes the leaves can appear brown and die, but don't worry, new leaves must form to replace them. While all this is happening, bulbs slowly grow under the ground.

During the first two to three years, the bulbs are developing and the plant will not be dormant for the winter, but growth may slow down.

After the second or third year, the plant can enter its first dormant phase. This is a good sign! It means that the bulb is creating a flower and should soon reward you with a spectacular bloom.

With good care, the flowers should appear once a year thereafter.


It is true that starting amaryllis from seed is a process that requires a lot of patience, but in my opinion, the wait is worth it.

You will be able to create entirely new hybrids and be rewarded with abundant displays of unique and colorful flowers for years to come.

Have you grown amaryllis from seed? Share your stories and photos in the comment section below!

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