This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There are no more popular plants with the florist or amateur than the very extensive and numerous family of Amaryllids. All the varieties of the genera are plants of royal bloom, and unsurpassable richness. It is a singular fact that all known varieties are worthy of cultivation in any collection, however choice.
By new introductions, and new hybrids, as the result of foreign skill, the now large list is being constantly increased and improved. The finest of the introductions are those from the tropics, but the genera is represented by beautiful specimens in all parts of the known world. Some of the Amaryllids require stove culture, others succeed best in the greenhouse, while many varieties make fine border plants.
The order Amaryllidaceae, as now constituted, comprises Amaryllis proper, Brunsvigia, Bu-phone, Agave, Crinum, Clidanthus, Coburgia, Clivia, Cyrtanthus, Habranthus, Galanthus, Lycoris, Gastronema, Doryanthes, Hippeastrum, Pancratium, Nerine, Phycella, Sternbergia, Py-rolirion, Haylockia, Sprekelia, Zephranthes, Stru-maria, Vallota, Imatophyllum, Ixilirion, Leu-cojum and Narcissus.
In this article I will merely give a passing notice to the hothouse varieties, desiring to speak more prominently of Summer blooming and border varieties.
Those varieties which require hot-house culture, should be removed from the pots, and the bulbs placed in a warm place on the shelf until they show signs of growth in the Spring. The pots for these varieties should be well drained and filled with a compost of equal portions of peat, clean sand and rich, turfy loam. After the bulbs are planted and made a fair growth in the Spring, they should be well supplied with water as they grow.
The greenhouse species must also be removed from the pots in the Fall and dried, in the Spring. Pot in the same way as for hothouse species. In potting Amaryllids, the neck of the bulb for one-half inch or more should be left above the surface of the soil, otherwise they will fail to flower.
The Hippeastrum constitute by far the larger section of the stove species. The original introductions were from South America and the Cape. The hybrid varieties constitute by far the greater part in cultivation now, the original introductions being very scarce.
The various superb Crinum, Agave, Clivia, and Coburgia are also hothouse species. Of those thriving best in the greenhouse we would mention the Imantophyllum, Brunsvigia, Haylockia, Pentlandia and Pancratium.
It will be observed that several of the genera are classed among Holland bulbs by dealers, as the Galanthus or Snowdrop, Leucojum or Snow-flake, and Narcissus, in their several varieties.
We will now consider those varieties which are known as Summer blooming Amaryllis. Many who are familiar with the regal Amaryllis family, suppose they are too tender to be successfully grown by any but experienced florists; this is a false idea, as a number of the species do not require half the care devoted by enthusiastic amateurs on much less worthy subjects. Those of peculiar merit for Summer flowering, are the Vallota, Amaryllis formosissima, Belladona, Johnsonii, Longiflora, Vittata and the Zephranthes.