Easy Propagation
Bill Warren
Amaryllis Study Group

I have a very simple technique I call slivering that I use on hybrid hippeastrum (I am sure someone has done this and calls it something else).

Take a sharp knife and make a cut on each side of a single root that meets in the middle of the bulb so you can take out a thin sliver that includes all the parts of the base of the bulb. Then treat it like a vegetative clone sliver to produce a new bulblet. I can take up to 4 slivers from a hippeastrum bulb without affecting next spring's bloom. In other words although you still have to wait for the bulblets to mature into flowering size bulbs, you do get your original bulb to bloom each year.

If anyone has tried something like this or tries this on a crinum or other bulb, please let me know of your success rate. I don't work with anything except hipps myself, but people ask me. It works like a charm for hybrid hippeastrum.

The guy who works on my old Novas lives on a sandy dirt road out in a forest. I fill up a 5 gal. paint bucket with the loose sand when I go out there. I put it in those seed sprouting trays that you buy for $1 at Burger King (they are so nice and keep putting salad in it for me. I guess they are mulch gardeners). Then I stick the hippeastrum seeds in it on edge (direction doesn't matter) half out of the sand. Mist it once a day, but don't let water stand. Put in growing trays or pots just before you get wilt. Works great with commercial hybrid hipps not so great with species. They need cleaner conditions, otherwise the method is the same. The slivers are the same. Plant half the sliver in the sand. I had a bulblet from the point of the stem and up to 3 bulblets from between the bulb scales from the same sliver using Apricot Sensation. I keep the trays on the carport so the sun doesn't dry them too fast and the rain doesn't dig them out. I bring them inside in the winter.

I know this does not seem very clean and controlled, but I am constantly amazed at their resilience (as you mentioned all the variations of twin scaling). Please do not mention this to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Amaryllis). Slivering does give you a few bulblets easily when you only have one of something hard to get or slow to grow without interrupting the annual bloom cycle. I figured it out when I had vegetatively cloned the only one I had of a bulb and then had a disaster.

Yes, you can use commercial sand. Yes, you can microwave or heat your sand in the oven on a cookie sheet to 250 degrees. No, I don't use fertilizers or funguousides. Yes, people in my group have used perlite. I have also on species like calyptrata and papilio. This is very basic and easy for starters and advanced amaryllis lovers.

If you know someone who has bought a new house in the last 5 years, give them a hippeastrum bulb and teach them how to grow a bed outside especially if they live in Toronto or Moscow (my each one teach one program).