Saturday, February 10, 2007

Amaryllis Pollination Hack

Amaryllis Pollination And Propagation

If you have an Amaryllis you can easily hack it to produce seeds which you can then sow and produce even more plants that you can share with others, keep for yourself or sell.

Look at the image on the right. The stamen is the slender white stalk that's holding up the anther. The anther is the sack that holds the pollen. These are considered the male parts of a flower. This usually matures before the stigma.

The stigma is on the left and it is the tip of the female reproductive parts of the flower. Notice how the ends are curled back, this occurs a couple of days after the flower has opened and is ready to be pollinated.

If you want to propagate your Amaryllis it's really very easy. Cut the white slender stalk that's holding up the anther and tap it onto the stigma when it look similar to the stigma in the image above. If that seems too difficult then just take a small artist's paint brush and rub it up and down on the pollen. Now look at your paint brush and you should see there is a yellow dust like substance. Now take your paint brush and "paint" the tip of the stigma with the pollen you picked up on the brush.

Your flower soon will start to die because it has lived and completed it's purpose. Which was to attract a pollinator, which in this case was you. Leave the flower alone and let it die on it's own terms. If you were successful after a few days you should notice the swelling of the seed pod right behind the dying flower. Leave everything alone and about 5-6 weeks later your seeds should be ready. You'll notice the seed part start to split open and inside you'll find a lot of black paper thin seeds. Don't let them fool you those are the seeds and you want to sow those soon.

Do you have more than one Amaryllis? Are they blooming at the same time? Take the pollen from one plant and place it on the stigma of the other. It's a good way of making crosses of your Amaryllis bulbs. Your seedlings should be old enough to bloom by their third year.

If you start your seeds in soil using something like the Ghetto Greenhouse stand the seeds on their sides, or you can start them using the Baggie Method. I'll post photos soon of what my seedlings look like. When I do at the bottom of this post you should see "Links to this post" to help you keep track of them.

On Sunday March 25th my first seed pod opened. I'll post pictures soon.


I started a blog devoted to growing Amaryllis bulbs and various tips. If you want to know what to do after the seed pods form check it out.

Here's a video I made showing you how to pot an Amaryllis Bulb.

and one showing you how to pollinate an Amaryllis flower.


DragonStone said...

I get a big kick out of that. A few months back, I started gathering various Thanksgiving Cactus colors and managed to get two seed pods on a yellow one. It had three but it abandoned one last week for some reason. I can't wait for them to be done so that I can get at the seeds.

MrBrownThumb said...


Being able to pimp a plant out and get seeds from it is pretty cool. I'm already noticing one of my seed pods starting to swell up. I'll post a pic of it soon.

Peter Stickney said...

We got an amaryllis at work a few weeks ago. The first thing I did was research pollination. Came across this site. Followed your steps, and although you're a few weeks ahead of me, I am now starting to see the bulging green seed pods.
Ill also try one ( if not both ) of your germination techniques to get these growing.


MrBrownThumb said...


Funny you should mention it because this weekend my first seed pod split open. I'll be updating to soon to post a pic of the seeds. Congrats on your success.

Karine said...

My pod split open today too. However, I did not deliberately pollinate my flower, it just happened: I noticed that one of the flower stems was staying strong while the others withered and died, and the pod was getting bigger, so I decided to see where it would go. I'm glad I found your site, because my previous research had been incredibly useless when it came to pods and what to do about them. Thank you!

MrBrownThumb said...

Hi Karine,

Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad the information here was of use to you. Good luck with the seeds.

Kurtis said...

I just took my amaryllis into a dark alley and pollinated it against its will. Thank gardenhacker!

MrBrownThumb said...


Make sure to visit Amaryllis Bulbs, I've moved most of the tutorials for Amaryllis bulbs there.

willowbatel said...

I did the same thing with mine, just to see if I could do it. Except I took the paint brush out of the equation and simply cut one of the “male” parts off to rub on all four of the stigmas. All of the seed pods are just about ready to open and I don’t know what to do next. I assume it’s just germinate them and put them in some dirt, but I don’t know if I’m supposed to wait for a certain time or what.

MrBrownThumb said...

Hi Willow,

If you want to know what to do next check out my blog about Amaryllis Bulbs at It has posts on planting the seeds and propagating them.

willowbatel said...

Thank you, I found it very helpful. I think I’ll try the water floating technique because I don’t really want more plants, I just want to see if I could get them to grow.

MrBrownThumb said...


You can do what I do and just give them away once they're established. That's how I got started too, just wanting to know that I "could" do it.

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