Growing you own Amaryllis plants from seeds is a relatively easy affair. Unfortunately, because of the size that the bulb needs to reach before they are mature enough to start flowering you will need to wait 2 or 3 years before you get to see the fruits of your labour. However, because they are so easy to hybridize you may well end up with something uniquely beautiful and make a name (as well as some money) for yourself in the world of amaryllis breeding.
To begin with, the flowers will need to be pollinated. You can either wait for nature to do its thing or you can take control and choose which parent plants have the characteristics you desire to progress to the next generation.

To pollinate Amaryllis flowers yourself you need to collect pollen from one parent plant and dust it onto the stigma of your other parent plant - a small artist's paint brush is ideal for this task.

Once the flower has been pollinated the seed pods should mature within 4 to 5 weeks afterwards. Pick the pods as soon as they turn yellow and start to split open. Remove the black, papery seeds from the pod and check them for viability. This is done by placing the seed between your thumb and finger, and checking for a pronounced "bump" in the middle of the otherwise flat seed. Any seeds that you can't feel the embryo in have failed and can be discarded. The viable seed should be planted as soon after you've collected them as possible into either pots or seed trays. For your compost use a free-draining compost mix such as cactus compost or a good quality seed compost with a handful of vermiculite, perlite or horticultural grit mixed in.

Gently firm the compost down, then sow a light covering of seeds. Next, cover the seeds with ¼ to ½ inch of perlite or horticultural grit etc. Alternately, add a layer of sharp sand to the compost surface before sowing the seed, then - using a blade of some description - cut a thin grove into the sand. Now place the seed –on its side with the bump below the surface – into the groove, then back fill the groove with sand so that the seed is supported in position and with the top of seed is exposed above the surface. Gently water the seed and place a clear cover over the top to maintain humidity. Keep the newly planted seeds in partial shade until they germinate. As soon as the new seedlings appear, remove the cover, then gradually increase the amount of light they receive until they are in full sun. At this point they can be fed with a half-strength liquid fertilizer solution every other week.

When the new bulbs reach about pea size they can be potted on into individual 4 inch plastic pots using the same potting mix as before.

Try Germinating Amaryllis Seeds Using the California Method

Place the seeds in a glass of water and keep it out of direct sunlight. If the seed is viable it should germinate right there in the glass. Wait until you have a quarter inch of root and then plant them in soil. With this method some seeds take weeks to over a month to germinate.

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Nell Jean said...

I never knew it was called California Method, but I've floated Amaryllis seeds in a shallow glass bowl of water. When tiny roots start, I position them in soil the way you tuck in your seeds.

Nell Jean said...

I linked to this article from my blog, in a little post on Amaryllis in the Southern USA.

If you don't want the traffic that the link may generate, I'll surely take off the link.

You might not want to be linked to somebody's Grandmother's rambling blog. I will understand.

Simon Eade said...

Hello Nell, welcome to the Garden of Eaden blog and thank you for listing as a follower.

It is nice to get comments from readers such as your self and I have no problem with you linking to me. If you have any questions for me then click onto my profile where you will find my email.

Once again, thank you for your comments. Simon

Womble said...

Hi I did some amaryllis seeds california style but only one grew a root which I have now potted up but its been a couple of weeks now and there is still no seedling yet? Is this normal or have I cocked it up? :oS xXx

Unknown said...

I guess I got lucky with my seeds and just stuck them in some potting soil and kept them watered. This was last year and they are now about half size; I am anxiously awaiting the day they bloom again. I live in north central Texas and all of mine live in the flower beds. The old ones are currently blooming, but the ones I cut up a couple of years ago are huge and healthy, but no blooms yet. I love my amaryllis and the peppermint, four blooms per stalk type are my favorite. I do not understand why I can't go to the local nurseries and buy them. They used to be a favorite for the garden in Texas & the gardeners passed them around, but as much as I hint, no one is sharing so I have to buy the ones at Christmas and plant them outside.