Can a flower bloom so beautifully in the dead of winter?
Yes! Most everyone is familiar with the annual parade of Poinsettias at Christmas time, but here is another beautifully blooming flower for the winter season, Amaryllis.
I have grown Amaryllis for many years and they bloom so extravagantly and beautifully every year.
The double white Amaryllis ‘Marquis’ in full bloom this past Christmas.
The Latin name for Amaryllis is Hippeastrum. Amaryllis is a bulb from South America and is a tropical plant.
Amaryllis flowers are large, trumpet shaped blooms at the end of tall leafless stems.
They come in many colors-red, rose, white, pink, salmon, and orange. The blooms can be single, double, variegated, stripped or picotee.
It is very easy to grow, and if cared for properly it will continue to grow and bloom for you for many years. Some have been known to grow for 50 years.
Amaryllis naturally grows in zone- 8-10. To grow in my zone, 5-6, the bulb takes special care as it does not survive in our freezing weather. But it is very easy to do.
If they are purchased by bare bulb, the bulbs should be soaked in water for a few hours, then planted into a pot with good potting soil. I always purchase my plants already potted and usually from the clearance rack, so they are very reasonable. But the selection is very limited. If you are searching for a special color or form they would need to be mail ordered in bulb form.
Use a heavy pot, as the plant can become top heavy when in full bloom. Make sure there are drainage holes so the bulb never is in standing water or it will rot.
Plant the bulb with the pointy end up, leaving about 1/3 of the bulb exposed and above the soil level. Use good potting soil.
The bigger the bulb, the bigger the bloom.
Amaryllis grow best in a cool room- 60-70 degrees.
Place them in bright, indirect light.
Rotate the pot to keep the stem growing straight. It is helpful to use stakes for support, as the blooms can be heavy and may flop over.
Water sparingly until the new growth begins, then water regularly. Make sure the water is draining.
Amaryllis will bloom 6-8 weeks after being planted. You can plan accordingly as to when you want them to bloom, and you can pot up multiple bulbs for a longer succession of blooms. I wanted these white Amaryllis to bloom at Christmas time, and they did. They were beautiful!
Amaryllis make wonderful cut flowers that can last up to 2 weeks in the vase. A potted up blooming Amaryllis makes a wonderful gift at Christmas time!
After the bulbs are done blooming, cut back the flowering stalks. The stems will eventually yellow and then they can be cut back too. Cut back about 2 inches from the bulb.
Be aware that Amaryllis is toxic to pets.
I have had some of my Amaryllis for many years and they have bloomed faithfully for me every year. This is what I do. After the flowering stems and foliage is cut back, I place the pots in an out of the way place that does not freeze. For me, this is the back porch, a regular area for in between things.
When the outside weather is above freezing, sometime in May, I put the pots in an out of the way place in the garden or on the patio. There they stay, all spring, summer, and fall, getting rained on and fertilized along with all the other plants in pots. When the temperatures begin to fall into the freezing range in the late fall I cut all the foliage back again, and take the pots to the basement. There they will stay until I am ready for them again. It is a cool, dark area. I water them when I think of it. I bring them back out when I am ready for beautiful blooms in about 7 weeks.
Something that I have done for years with my Sunday School class…we grow the Amaryllis after Christmas. I have mostly girls in my class and I let them have free range in decorating our classroom for Christmas with items that I have collected over the years. The class room is definitely not the nicest decorated classroom but they are very happy and busy doing it. All of the Christmas decorations were taken down and packed away last week, and the row of Amaryllis set out. The pots were watered and next week we will see if they have grown. I always enjoy their expressions of excitement when they come back each Sunday and see how much they have grown. I will keep you updated with photos as the Amaryllis grow and bloom.
I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth.