Amaryllis in Zone 5...

lily55rjw(5 Northern Michigan)February 17, 2011

So I bought 3 amaryllis bulb kits on clearance from Menards. 1 red Lion, 1 Star of Holland, and 1 Apple Blossom. Got home and 2 of the bulbs had babies growing on them. I got them seperated and planted and tehy are doing great! Now to get to the point of my post... I had an older lady tell me that she buys amaryliss bulbs and plants them outside, in zone 5, and leaves them there all through winter and she said they keep producing new babies each year. Everything I read says they are not winter/cold hardy and to lift them in the fall. Can she be right? Can they be left in the ground?

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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Hmm, I really don't see how that is possible. Was she really taking about Hippeastrum Amaryllis. Maybe she was referring to something that sounds like amaryllis?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:43AM
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The only thing I can think of is that possibly where she is located the ground gets covered in snow BEFORE the ground has a chance to freeze, maybe close to the foundation.. and stays covered with snow until well past the last frost in her area...??? That can happen with my dahlias that don't get dug up each year, they're close to the foundation and again, this year got burried in snow and still are...

I was going to try leaving a few bulbs in the ground for the winter but I chickened out! Zone 5 is pretty darned cold..Brrrrrr :-) Just my thoughts on the subject, I really don't know...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:48AM
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There are people around my area in Zone 5 who overwinter Hippeastrum in the ground. There is a guy in Chicago that overwinters his Hippeastrum xjohnsonii outside and it successfully comes back and blooms every year.

Hippeastrum xjohnsonii and 'Appleblossom' are both said to be hardy as far north as zone 6. It's all about trial and error! Royal Colors states their new Dutch Sonatini are hardy to 14F, assuming you plant them deep enough I think they'd be alright!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Noni Morrison

Definitely plant your Sonatini's deep enough if you are going to try this. I had bought them from Breck's a few years ago, and planted them 3 each in big clay pots. I forgot them, during one of our early surprise freeze ups (THink it is the time we were cruising in Mexico in Early Dec and came home to a world of ice and snow) here in zone 8b. They were mush when the thaw came. So, no pots outside in winter...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Sorry Joshy not planting deep enough, i think, covering deep enough is the key.
Best regards

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:19PM
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Frank, the few I know that grow them here plant them 6-8 inches down, this has been the key for them.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 2:12PM
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lily55rjw(5 Northern Michigan)

Thank you all for the replys! I may try 1 or 2 and see how it goes. After all, I only paid 2 dollars for them and they are making babies. I won't be out much if I try a couple! Thanks again!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:12AM
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You Guys are both right!! The planting depth is probably the most important but without a thick covering of mulch on the surface to prevent the ground from freezing and thawing several times during the cold weather.. which can possibly heave the bulbs closer to the could still have a problem...I think (IMH0) that they are both necessary for success in leaving these bulbs in the ground. I'm thinking that I am still too chicken to try it after this horrendous winter. Just my thoughts on this matter....


    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 10:27AM
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gmwill(5 Northern IL)

I think one easy test would be putting one in your freezer overnight and see if it makes it. Oh! I am bad. -GM

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 9:41PM
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Hi, I know this post is over a year old and you likely have your answer through trial and error, but:

I live just outside of Chicago, and we have a lovely Amaryllis that the previous owner's wife planted long ago that is still going strong. She passed away at least 15 years ago.

We do nothing special to it. We water it with the rest of the yard through the spring and summer. When the foliage turns completely brown in early summer, we gently remove it. In the spring, we put down fresh wood mulch, and in the fall, we put down dry leaves for mulch.

It's August 1st, and I already have three shoots of blossoms coming up. :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 5:29PM
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This sounds like an interesting experiment with to do with discount mass merchandiser bulbs next year. I usually can pick them up for under $3, and last year got a number after Christmas at Meijer and Lowes for a final price of either about $1.25 or $1.50 depending on exact packaging, with or without pot and disk of compacted coir planting material.

I tried H. x johnsonii from Plants Delight in-ground here, it lived a couple of winters, never thrived, and slowly the 3 originial larger bulbs in the clump died off one by one, leaving a few offsets that also subsequently died.

I know, it's said you should never give up trying an exotic plant until you've killed it three times.

I have other bulbs survive that aren't technically hardy here, including crinum, pineapple lily, and glads. It can be done.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:44PM
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