Hippeastrum puniceum, is a much loved ornamental in the bulb industry. It has been with me since i was born, freely growing in our yard. They are on-show during the rainy season, May to January, and out of sight or dormant during the dry season, February to April.
I have long been calling ours as amaryllis, thinking that is the common name and the Hippeastrum puniceum as scientific name. I just realized that amaryllis and Hippeastrum are two different genus. It has a long history of being together in a Genus and have been formally separated just lately into two separate Genus. Discussions lasted 5 decades from 1937 to 1987. Amaryllis are those from South Africa and Hippeastrum, from South America. The origin of the two genus are easier for me to understand because our colonizers were Spaniards and Portuguese. Formally they are separated, but informally they are still together. The confusion arise because most of the Hippeastrum sold as bulbs are colloquially called amaryllis, because not many people know that they are formally " botanically divorced" by the International Botanical Congress.
Above is an old photo of our hippeastrum hedge in our garden
Flower forcing for bulbs in the tropics can be done with two strategies. First is by inducing early bulb dormancy, and second by breaking dormancy. Inducing dormancy of bulbs in pots is done by gradual withdrawal of water to induce fast drying of leaves and stop active physiological processes in the bulb. Then the pots can be placed in shaded areas to avoid bulb scorching. That is simulated starvation for about 6 weeks, after which they can be put back to sunny areas with full watering.
Above is a bulb planted on the ground and watered in last week of January,
this flower is in early February
My small experiment of breaking dormancy by letting bulbs sit in water in January. Spikes appear after 3d and flowers lasted for 2-3 weeks, because some bulbs produced 2nd spike.
Some gardeners here, due to lack of knowledge on the principles of its growth and development, still do the strategies of those in the temperate climates. That is because they rely heavily on the internet. But putting in the refrigerators is not actually necessary because our bulbs can stay outdoors, even on their growing positions in the ground, until their dormancy is completed. Or if needed, dormancy can be cut by just watering them. Temperate climates only dug them during their dormancy, and put inside the refrigerators because bulbs freeze and are killed in winter. Knowledge makes work easier and cheaper!