93fdec7916f5f7156f5745ca1578865e

The poinsettia, the Christmas cactus and paperwhites are lovely holiday blooms, but the amaryllis is a real showstopper and commands a spot where it will be noticed.

It blooms from a bulb with showy flowers sometimes reaching the diameter of a teacup saucer or larger.

carolemccraysm.jpg

If you receive an amaryllis as a holiday gift and you do not get to plant it right away, do not fret. I speak from experience and have found pot

ting several of them in January is a pleasant task because I look forward to magnificent blooms throughout the snowy winter days. The backdrop of a window view with the ground ladened in billows of white is a perfect setting for the furled blooms of an amaryllis.

BLOOM AND BULB FACTS

To prolong the time to enjoy an extravagant display of blooms, stagger planting of the bulbs, say one or two week over a three-week period. By staggering your start up times, it’s possible to have blooms through winter and early spring.

The number of flowers and flower stalks produced by an amaryllis depends on the size of the bulb and the cultivar. Normally, atop each stalk, the flowers are united in a group of four, flowering crosswise, two by two.

Bulb prices depend on bulb size and where it was produced. Commercially, the amaryllis is widely cultivated in the Netherlands, South Africa and South America. Depending on the production system and the cultivar, it takes three to five years to obtain bulbs large enough to be offered for sale.

MORE IS BEAUTIFUL

If you have more than one amaryllis, try an easy and spectacular display by planting three to five bulbs, placed shoulder to shoulder in one broad, not deeper container. Plant all the same variety of bulbs in a pot for a more pleasing, abundant effect.

Each bulb will send up one stem, then another, sometimes more, each topped by four to six colorful blossoms. Since the amaryllis tends to be top heavy, planting multiple bulbs can make the plant less tippy, so use a large pot with a broad base.

A RETURN OF BLOOMS

Unlike many forced bulbs, an amaryllis can be brought back to bloom for years, even decades. Try this method to have blooms for season after season:

  • Deadhead the flowers; fertilize with a houseplant fertilizer, and water through mid-July.
  • Store indoors in a dark spot with the pot on its side to prevent it being watered accidentally.
  • In late October, bring the pot out and cut off the dead foliage. Refresh the soil and give the plant a drink of water to start its growing cycle all over again.  

For a rewarding winter treat, forego the leftover holiday chocolates and cookies; instead plant a few amaryllis bulbs. There will be no calories added to your waist, only a feast for your eyes.

Carole McCray is an award-winning garden and lifestyle writer and artist who lives, writes gardens and paints in the scenic Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania. She won the 2003 Garden Writers Award of Achievement for her article on Native Seeds published in The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper. You can read Carole's profile at www.theMulch.com/my-profile/userprofile/laurelmt.

Save


Plant Care Reminders

California Poppy Monthly Plant Care
Annuals Coastal Sage Gardening

Poppy - California (Eschscholzia californica) - Monthly Plant Care Reminders

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Romanesco Cauliflower Plant Care
Edibles San Diego Seed Company

Cauliflower - Romanesco (Brassica oleracea ssp. Italica Group 'Romanesco') - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Flax - New Zealand (Phormium spp.) -…

13870 Kat Malstead
Phormium Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) -…

6753 Julie Bawden-Davis
Hibiscus Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Citrus & Avocado Tree Planting and Care

24157 Walter Andersen Nursery
Citrus & Avocado Tree Guide
Citrus and Avocado trees are well adapted to most areas of San Diego County, from the…

Gardening Articles

Zuchini Blossom
Seasonal Gardening Kate Copsey

The Southern Vegetable Garden in Summer

Summer is synonymous with fresh tomatoes, sweet corn and watermelon.
Expert Bios Rhonda Hayes

Rhonda Fleming Hayes - Midwest

Region: Midwest

Oscar Olson - Southwest

8870
Oscar Olson
Region: Southwest

Build a Raised Garden Bed for Growing Vegetables

24328
Build a raised bed for vegetables.
Broccoli is $2.99 a pound, artichokes as much as $5.99 each, snow peas and snap peas are…

2010 Perennial Plant of the Year - Baptisia australis

3106
Default Image
Blue false indigo grows three to four feet tall and three to four feet wide in an upright…

Plant Recommendations

Mandarin
Plant Recommendations Ron Vanderhoff

Citrus Throughout the Year

Ron Vanderhoff's Top Plant Recommendations: Citrus Fruit Throughout the Year for Southern California.
Dudleya pulverulenta
Plant Recommendations Dave Ehrlinger

Fire Safe Plants - Southern California

Dave Ehrlinger's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Fire Safe Plants for Southern California. 

Biennials for Birds & Butterflies -…

3926 Maureen Austin
Alcea rosea
Maureen Austins' Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Biennials for Birds & Butterflies for…

Roses for Southern Gardens

5191 Nellie Neal
Use Roses In the Garden
Be sure your garden includes roses, whether it’s a pergola covered in a rampant climber…

Rare Fruit - Southern California

4646 JANET WANERKA
Washington Naval Orange
Janet Wanerka's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Rare Fruit for Southern California.

Featured Plant Care

Pyracantha Monthly Plant Care

Firethorn (Pyracantha spp) - Monthly Plant Care Reminders

in Shrubs
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Oncidium Orchid Care

Oncidium Orchid Plant Care

Orchids are as easy as A - B - C!
Citrus & Avocado Tree Guide

Citrus & Avocado Tree Planting and Care

in Edibles
Citrus and Avocado trees are well adapted to most areas of San Diego County, from the…

Latest Articles

Edit Your Tagged Photos!

How to Edit or Remove A Plant "Tag" In Your Garden Photos

Instead of 'Tagging' your friends on Facebook, now you can 'Tag' your Plants in your…

Popular Articles

Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…
Kahili Ginger Plant Care

Hedychium gardnerianum (Kahili Ginger) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)