Hippeastrums are big, bold, voluptuous and brassy and their strong colours work particularly well in our bright Australian light. Wild species grow in South America, but the varieties sold today are the result of years of intensive hybridising. Blooms are now large, flared trumpets in a dazzling range of colours. Plant hippies in clumps, en masse or in pots and you’ll be rewarded with a flamboyant display that will bring cheer and happiness to your garden.
Common name: Hippeastrums, amaryllis, hippies
Botanic name: Hippeastrum cultivars
Description: Bold trumpet-shaped flowers appear in late spring to summer on hollow stems 40cm to 50cm (18-22″) tall. Flowers are available in singles, doubles and miniatures. They range in colour from deep red to salmon pink, rose pink, lemon, lime and clear white, and some have contrasting stripes, petal edges or throats. Dark green sword shaped leaves usually appear just after the flowers.
Best climate: Hippeastrums will grow anywhere in Australia.
pots cut flowers mass plantings naturalised in a large garden
large spectacular flowers wide range of colours and sizes will tolerate light to dappled shade and fairly average soil almost indestructible
very attractive to slugs and snails they only flower for 2-3 weeks
Plant bulbs in autumn in well drained soil enriched with organic matter, such as cow manure. In pots, add Osmocote or Nutricote. An open position in full sun is best, and the neck of the bulb should be showing above ground level. Keep moist during the growing season but allow to dry out a little during July and August. Protect from slugs and snails.
Our segment was filmed at Maguire’s Hippeastrum Farm, 409 Kiel Mountain Road, Woombye, QLD, 4559. Phone (07) 5448 5640. The farm will be open to the public from 8-5pm, 7 days a week from mid September to mid November.
You can buy hippeastrums in bloom now at nurseries, or bulbs are available from May – August from specialist bulb nurseries such as:
Blue Dandenongs Bulb Farm, Old Emerald Road, Monbulk. Phone: (03) 9756 6766, fax: (03) 9756 7844. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.blued.com.au Prices range from $8.50 to $21 for new doubles and peony forms. Patchwork Nursery, PO Box 50, The Patch. Phone: (03) 9756 7277. Singles $13.50, doubles $18.50. Bulb Express, 4 Dyson Court, Breakwater. Phone: (03) 5248 1660. Singles $8.50, doubles $23. Tesselaar Bulbs and Flowers, 357 Monbulk Road, Silvan. Phone: (03) 9737 9811. Singles $14.
Maguire’s Hippeastrum Farm, 409 Kiel Mountain Road, Woombye. Phone: (07) 5448 5640. Singles $8.50 to $15. Mead’s Daylily Gardens, 264 Learoyd Road, Acacia Ridge. Phone: (07) 3273 8559. Singles $10, doubles and imported $25.
To find out more about hippeastrums, see the article by Shirley Stackhouse in the October edition of the Burke’s Backyard Magazine. It’s available now at newsagents for $4.20.