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Johnson's Hardy Amaryllis

2/27/2022 3:14 pm



Hippeastrum x johnsonii

Johnson's Hardy Amaryllis


When it comes to reliable spring beauty, the Johnson’s Hardy Amaryllis is as good as it gets.   About mid-May, an established clump will be covered with stalks of bright scarlet blooms.  While it is still a good idea to give the bulbs some mulch over winter, when the strap-like leaves will have wilted, these bulbs have persisted through many a cold, winter day.


It is challenging to find the bulbs in the trade. Better to know someone who grows them and can share. Plant Delights (as of 2-18-22) still lists this bulb at $22 per bulb. Well worth the investment since it multiplies in a very satisfying way without being too aggressive. Hippeastrum x johnsonii is also referred to as St. Joseph’s Lily because in the Gulf Coast it tends to bloom around March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph. Almost Eden and Naturescapes of Beaufort, SC carry it listed under that common name (in stock as of 2-27-22)


When an old fashioned, beautiful, and hardy plant like this one becomes difficult to find, gardeners need to make it their mission to save it and share it.  



Sidebar - Hippeastrum hybrids


The best known amaryllis are the Hippeastrum hybrids commonly purchased at nurseries or online, which we pot up and bring to flower in our homes.  Bulbs should be put in small pots with drainage – about 2” circumference larger than waist of bulb. Position bulb with shoulders at surface of the soil.  Water once from the bottom and wait for the emergence of leaves. When growth begins, start watering regularly from the bottom.  Flower buds often appear before foliage.


When flowering has ceased, and flower stems become limp, cut back to bulb. Continue to nourish foliage until October. Move to warm spot and let bulb dry out.  In December or January, repot, rubbing off loose, old paper covering of bulb, and start again.


These bulbs can also be planted outdoors, in the north Atlanta metro, if positioned in a protected spot with bright light and great drainage.  The bulbs are surprisingly robust outdoors, throwing huge blooms in late spring.  Mulch in winter is recommended. - Contributed by Karin Guzy. 


 Amaryllis 'Aphrodite'