How to grow hippies
Planning your spring garden? Add these unique blooms to your spring bulb mix. Hippies’ stem shoot up before the leaves, so come springtime, your garden will look like it has an army of sentries watching over your other bulbs. When the daffs fade, the hippie flowers follow.
Full sun to part shade, sheltered from the wind.
Well-drained and enriched with organic matter.
Position your hippies 30cm apart.
Every fortnight once shoots appear.
Once a week, as they’re drought-hardy and over-watering causes stem rot and red rust on the leaves. Never water the bulb nose - water the soil instead.
How to plant
Hippies look fabulous planted en masse against a wall – standing like pretty maids all in a row, and they'll be sure to brighten up your yard.
Put the large, onion-like bulb in soil with pointed end up, keeping the neck of the bulb at the soil’s surface. Or, position a single bulb in a pot and surround it with other seasonal, low-growing plants, such as petunias. Then watch it dominate everything else with its final fabulous flourish of flowers.
- Once planted in full sun, hippies will take about 5-6 weeks to flower. If you want to delay flowering, plant in a shady spot.
- After flowering is finished (usually within 2-3 weeks), cut stems close to the bulb, leaving the leaves intact.
- Lift bulbs in April-May, cut leaves close to bulbs, and store in a warm, dry place. Plant bulbs again in August or September.
How to grow in a pot
Growing hippies in pots is easy. Use a quality potting mix and add bulb food according to package instructions. Then underplant – dusty miller and ornamental chilli look great together – to maintain interest until the stems stretches up and those voluptuous flowers emerge.
Check the size of your bulbs before you buy. The bigger the bulb, the more flowers they’ll produce.
Varieties of hippeastrums
Your hippies, such as Hippeastrum ‘Juniper’, will grow up big and flamboyant, but for such a showy thing you’ll find it’s not all demanding. Just watch out for snails after it’s been raining.
You get two for the price of one with the double-flowering Hippeastrum ‘Ragtime’ with white touches accentuating the ravishing red.
Each bulb of the H. ‘Alfresco’ will give you up to three stems, each producing up to eight bright white, fully double flowers with contrasting chartreuse throats. And since it staggers its flowering, you’ll have blooms for months.
The H. ‘Rosetta’ will add a little quirkiness to your garden with its higgledgy-piggledy inner petals clustered around a lime green throat, but you can still appreciate the rosy-red-on-white stripy pattern of the outer petals.
The H. ‘Amalfi’ will light up your nights as well as your days with its large neon pink petals and sunshine centre. Since you can’t head off to the Italian coast anytime soon, experience it in your garden!
Hippies such as ‘Lemon Sorbet’ are often confused with naked ladies (Amaryllis belladonna). They’re in the same family but the key difference is that hippies flower in spring and summer while naked ladies flower in late summer-autumn.