If you’re like me and you can’t get through winter without getting your hands dirty, planting amaryllis bulbs is the perfect antidote to a gardener’s winter blues. Amaryllis bulbs can still be found in good nurseries or florists and the show-stopping, magnificent blooms can burst into your world in a few short 4-6 weeks. They are easy to plant and the colorful reward for your effort will make you swoon.
Choose a plump bulb with some root growth and bit of green flower stalk peeking from the top. Select a pot that is 1/2 an inch to 2 inches wider than the bulb and about 1/3 taller than the height of your bulb(to allow for root development). Place some potting medium in the pot and sit your bulb so it extends slighly above the top edge. Add additional soil until your bulb is almost covered, keeping its neck free. Place your bulb on a sunny and warm window sill and keep it watered below the top of the bulb and ensure there is free drainage. Sitting water can cause your bulb to rot. Once the foliage starts to appear, rotate the pot every few days so the plant grows straight. Once flowers start to open give your plant a place to really show off, preferably in indirect sunlight, to prolong bloom time. Each stalk will produce 4 flowers with bloom time of 2 weeks. A big bang for your buck!
Amaryllis are native to Central and South America and their eye-catching flowers will bring a much needed tropical feel to your home in the heart of winter. There are many exotic striped varieties available now which are absolutely striking. Get creative and experiment with new types of bulbs. I planted ‘Showmaster’ this year, a new-to-me variety, for its lush Valentine colors (Terrain-at-Styer’s).
Amazing amaryllis are not just for the holiday season. Plant some now and take a little tropical vacation, right in your home. Margaritas optional!
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse, Seated Woman With Vase of Amaryllis, MOMA, 1941
(Images of amaryllis blooms courtesy of Google Images)