Amaryllis – Pollination

Q: My boss bought a dozen amaryllis for the office for Christmas. We now have six in a sunny window. My question has to do with pollination. Before the first flowers started to fade, I cut a stamen from a flower of one stalk and pollinated the pistils in the flowers of another stalk. Will my “playing bee” bring any seeds? I’d want to leave the stalks alone for a while wouldn’t I?

A: You may be a new plant parent and not even know it! You used just the right technique to pollinate the flower. Amaryllis flowers are so big it is easy to clip out a stamen and rub it on the sticky pistils nearby. If all goes as it should, the stem will begin to swell just below the flower. This seed pod (the ovary) is where the pollen grains went after you did your “bee business”. Leave the stalk alone and treat the amaryllis like a houseplant in your sunny window. When the pod dries (in mid-summer) you can crack it open, remove the seeds and plant them outdoors. Those seeds that sprout will yield plants which will be big enough to flower in May three years from now.

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