My first memory of Amaryllis is from early marriage.
I walked into my mother-in-laws kitchen on Christmas
There atop her refrigerator
Sat the biggest flower I had ever seen.
It was tall
Almost touching the ceiling.
And the blooms were ENORMOUS
Five or six inches across.
Now…John’s mother was a great gardener.
But really….this was ridiculously impressive.
Which of course, meant I had to have one.
Her’s had come as a boxed kit.
Pot – soil and bulb in a simple cardboard box.
You will see them everywhere this time of year.
There are many varieties
Single, doubles and my favorite Hybrid Dutch Amaryllis
Once again, my source is k.van Bourgondien
For years I only ordered a soft pink called Apple Blossom.
The last few Christmases my choice has been Black Pearl
It’s a velvety deep red.
This year I’m on to Moonlight.
But really they are all glorious.
Pinks, reds, white, salmon and lime green.
The cardinal bulb rule applies here, too.
The bigger the bulb the bigger the bloom.
Hybrid Dutch Amaryllis are big.
As big as my hand.
They are simple to plant.
Choose a pot that is just slightly bigger than the bulb.
I use 6″ clay pots.
This plant is top-heavy so the clay helps to stabilize it.
Hydrate everything before planting.
Soak the pots
And just the roots of the bulb
For a bit
Put a couple of inches of soil in the bottom of the pot.
Then the bulb.
The stem and the tip 1/3 of the bulb should be above soil level
So….I usually have to play with it a bit to get the right amount of soil in the bottom.
Pack the soil around the edge of the bulb.
If possible water from the bottom by using a saucer or tray.
These bulbs have several “layers”
You want to make sure that you don’t get water inside those layers.
Or your bulb will rot!
Place in a location where it will get some sun.
But not all day.
Over the course of the next several weeks it will begin to grow.
When Elliott was little we always put a yard stick in the pot.
Each day we would check to see how much it had grown.
Most days it was an inch or so.
You should get between 1 and 3 stems spread over a month or more.
Each stem will have 4 or 5 blooms.
Once they start to bloom move them away from the sun
The blooms will last longer that way.
Some will bloom as late as Valentine’s Day
Depending upon when they are planted.
Though Amaryllis are thought of as a Christmas plant.
I really like them to start blooming after the holidays.
That way when all the decorations are gone
And the house feels a bit naked.
One more thing
This is a splendid plant to share
They bring JOY!