Amaryillis pollination and saving seeds

I have an amaryllis growing in a pot in the house. I want to save the seeds when the flower is spent. How do you pollinate the plant? Mary
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snipped-for-privacy@city-net.com wrote:

Unless you are trying to hybridize a new variety, propagate "amaryllis" (Hippeastrum) or naked lady (Amaryllis belladonna) by dividing the bulbs when the plant becomes overgrown and threatens to break the pot apart. Hippeastrum can be divided at any time, but it's best not to do it while flowering. A. belladonna should be divided only immediately after flowering; if its roots are disturbed at any other time, it might refuse to bloom again for several years.
If you really want to hybridize a new variety of Hippeastrum, you need to cross-pollinate from a different variety. You should cut open the flower bud just before it's ready to open by itself. With tiny scissors, remove the anthers (the parts on which pollen grows). With a dry artist's paint brush, collect pollen from a flower of another variety and paint the pollen on the stigma (the sticky three-part central stalk) of the "emasculated" flower. Tie a small paper bag around the pollinated flower to prevent stray pollen from reaching it. When the flower dies, a seed pod will form. Wait until the pod matures and splits open. The seeds are embedded in black, papery tissue. Plant in a light medium (e.g., half construction sand and half peat moss). Keep moist but not wet. You should get flowers in about 3-5 years from seed.
I don't know about hybridizing A. belladonna.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_hippeastrum.html for more about A. belladonna and Hippeastrum. My page has links to pictures of varieties of both at the Web site of the International Bulb Society.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Transfer pollen from the stamens to the stigma of a flower... generally best to do this several days running, because stamens and stigmas generally don't mature at the same time. You'll see the young fruit start to swell a few days after the flower fades if your pollination is successful.
A couple of things to think about: you're unlikely to make great breakthroughs in plant genetics with this sort of casual plant breeding. And the process of making seeds takes a lot of energy from the plant, so your parent plant may not bloom well again for a year or two. But it's a fun thing to do, and the seedlings are simple enough to raise.
Kay
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