How to Pollinate an Amaryllis Bulb Flower
The two parts of the Amaryllis flower you need to recognize in order to pollinate your Amaryllis bulb is the pollen sack and the stigma. The pollen sack is the male part of the flower and the stigma is the female part of the flower. I've labeled these two part of the Amaryllis flower in the image above. On the second or third day after your Amaryllis flower has opened completely the pollen sacks and the stigma should look like the pollen sack and stigma in the photo above. Make note of how the stigma is opened and has three points-that means that it is ready to receive pollen. If you try to pollinate it before it opens completely like in the image above you may not have successful results.
To pollinate your Amaryllis bulb all you have to do is make the pollen come into contact with the stigma and this can be done a couple of ways. You can cut off the pollen sack and tap the pollen so that it dusts the stigma or you can take a small artist's paint brush and "paint" the pollen onto the stigma. In the Amaryllis flower photo on the right I just cut off an anther and brushed it onto the open stigma.
This photo shows the stigma of the Amaryllis coated in pollen. You can click on these images to get a slightly larger view.
Within a few days after you have coated the tips of the stigma with the pollen the flower will have started to whither away but if you were successful your pods should show signs of swelling.
In the image above the Amaryllis seed pod on the right failed to accept the pollen and become fertilized. The seed pod on the left is a nice green color and is starting to swell as it works on producing the Amaryllis seeds inside. Pods that weren't fertilized will look a little yellow and wrinkled and begin to whither away as the Amaryllis bulb concentrates on the viable seed pods.
In a couple of weeks your Amaryllis seed pods should look like the image above. Notice how they are nice and plump and green?These Amaryllis seed pods are well on their way to providing many Amaryllis seeds to be sown. When your Amaryllis bulbs sets seeds you should leave the bulb alone to do not cut the pods off and certainly do not open the seed pods yourself. In a few days after they've reached this point they will split open and you can collect the seeds.
When the Amaryllis seed pods open you'll find many Amaryllis seeds like in the picture above. The first time I successfully collected seeds from my Amaryllis I was surprised at how the seeds looked. Amaryllis seeds are flat for the most part and very papery and large enough that if any spill out of the seed pods you can easily find them.
Points to consider:
Say you have a white flowering Amaryllis bulb and you would like to cross it with a red flowering Amaryllis bulb you may want to remove the pollen from one of the plants. If for example you wanted to pollinate the white flower with a red flower's pollen you should remove the pollen sacks from the white flower before they open. The reason for this is that the pollen from the white flower could accidentally come into contact with the stigma and produce more white flowering bulbs when what you wanted was a cross between white and red.
Some Amaryllis bulbs cannot be pollinated with their own pollen. Amaryllis 'Apple Blossom' comes to mind as one of the flowers that is hard to self-pollinate. To pollinate an 'Apple Blossom' Amaryllis you need the pollen from another Amaryllis. But you can use the pollen from 'Apple Blossom' to pollinate other flowers-it just doesn't accept pollen from itself very easily.
The second part of this entry is: Sowing & Germinating Amaryllis seeds.
Here's a short video I made showing how to easily pollinate an Amaryllis flower