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Successful results in planting amaryllis seed will depend on effective germination of viable seeds through the use of adequate moisture and the availability of bright but indirect light. Some gardeners have also had good results in germinating amaryllis seed by floating the individual seeds in water. Regardless of the method used to produce growth, sprouted seeds can be transferred to individual containers after germination.
Only viable amaryllis seeds will germinate. An amaryllis seed is about 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) long. Each viable seed has a small lump or bump within the outer structure. This lumpy area contains the actual seed material. Any amaryllis seed that does not contain the lump is not a true seed and will not produce a new plant.
To begin the germination process, choose any container with drainage holes that can be covered with a lid or plastic wrap to maintain moisture levels. Use any type of potting soil or medium. Stand up the seeds in rows, making certain the seed's bumpy area is covered with soil mixture. Add a small amount of water to the soil, then close or cover the container and put it in an area that is warm and brightly lit, but away from direct sunlight. Provide more direct sun gradually once germination begins, which could take up to four weeks.
Seeds can be gathered directly from a parent plant. A seed pod will take around four weeks to mature after pollination of the parent. When the seed pods have begun to become yellowish and split, the seeds can be removed and dried. Amaryllis seeds that are harvested directly from a plant should be germinated soon after harvesting.
Amaryllis seed that is sold in stores or nurseries tends to be gathered from hybrid amaryllis varieties. Hybrids are created from two different types of parent plants. Thus, any amaryllis seed that is sold commercially might not produce the exact same type of plant as its parents.
Seedlings can be placed out of doors in a spot that is protected from afternoon sun. Fertilizer will help the seedlings grow, but gardeners should use caution to avoid burning the roots through excessive fertilizing. Keep the seedlings inside any time temperatures drop below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). While indoors, the amaryllis seedlings should be placed in a window facing south for adequate sunlight.
Another means of propagating amaryllis is to use cuttage, which is a process of dividing an amaryllis bulb into multiple small verticle slices. When each slice is planted, it could spawn complete new bulbs. Cuttage must be done accurately in order to produce bulbs effectively. Regardless of the propagation method, it can take up to five years for bulbs to grow sufficiently to produce blooms.