Time for Amaryllis
This is really one of our favourite times of year – time for Amaryllis! Love this flower –– it is so easy to grow and have success with – buy a bulb – pot it up – add water and stir (ok – do add water – but don’t really stir) flowering an amaryllis is super easy.
Amaryllis bulbs typically take 6-8 weeks to bloom so if you plant them around our Thanksgiving or late October you will typically have them in bloom for Christmas! One reason we think our Thanksgiving is better than the one south of the border is planting amaryllis in late November will still give you great flowers – but you will miss the holiday season.
A few details
Amaryllis is officially called Hippeastrum. There are also perennial types of true amaryllis – but for the indoor flowering spectacle we use the non-hardy bulbs.
Bigger is always better with amaryllis. A larger bulb will give us larger and often more flowers. Big bulbs will cost a little more to buy but you will see the results. We typically will budget to buy one ‘as big as we can find’ red amaryllis then buy a few of the less expensive smaller bulbs of the novelty colours.
Colours – Well we think red is the must-have colour – but amaryllis come in pinks and whites and stripes and doubles and… lots of choices! Typically, the red colours have the biggest flowers but we like to mix and match.
Single pots or in a collection – with our bulbs we will put the big red bulb in its own pot – then plant the smaller bulbs together in a shallow ‘bulb pan’ style pot. These plants get tall and a bit top-heavy when in bloom so as a rule we always plant them in heavy clay pots to avoid tipping. The bulbs should not touch – but can be planted close together to get a real ‘WOW effect’ when in bloom.
You can try to re-bloom the bulbs – we throw them outside on the patio once the spring weather gets above freezing. In the late summer you need to bring them inside – and let them go dormant (i.e. cool and dry) for about 10 weeks. Once you see the new bud start to push out of the bulb – repot into fresh potting soil and put in a sunny location.
Did we mention these are easy to flower? Plant the bulb in good potting soil. Keep then in a well-lit spot to keep the flower stem from stretching too much as it grows. We like to keep then a bit cool too – as that will keep them in flower longer a bit than if in a hot spot. Like most plant they like water but not to be sitting in soggy conditions – so let the top of the soil dry a bit before you give them a good soak. We don’t use too much plant food in winter as most plants are growing slowly – in this case the bulb is growing a lot so a little plant food is an ok idea.
So enjoy this beautiful fall weather and then go buy and plant some amaryllis!
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