Tuesday, December 21, 2010


As I'm sure you have guessed by now I have a SLIGHT addiction to plants, I guess being a Landscape Designer does that to you...  Yes, there are worse things to be addicted to, but these consume a LOT of space in our house, well mostly our kitchen.

We did a little transplanting of our Amaryllis collection so they will have room to grow and bloom.  The Amaryllis originated in South America's tropical regions and has the botanical name Hippeastrum.  I love to have them in my house for the holiday's.  Ideally I would have transplanted them earlier, BUT it is what it is, and so they're happy now and should bloom in about 4-6 weeks.
I removed the bulb from it's old soil and gently teased the roots.  They DO like to be a little crowded in their containers, but not root bound.  So ideally you should re pot them yearly.
You should have about an inch of soil between the edge of the bulb and the edge of the container.  Their "shoulders" should be exposed, so 2/3 of the bulb below soil, 1/3 above.  I press the soil in nice and tight so when I water I don't have to add more soil. 
I did a few containers with multiples for bigger effect and also to save some space on my shelves.  The bulb on the left is the "parent" bulb, the little one to it's right is it's "baby".  It sent off an offshoot that had its own root system, so I gently pulled it apart and put them in the pot together. 
Here is a beautiful photo of a cultivar called "Aphrodite" from White Flower Farm.  I love the red tinged tips and the double blooms, so soft! 
This beauty is called "Red Peacock" also from White Flower Farm.  Again, LOVE the double blooms and that deep red color.  There are tons of cultivar's to choose from, white, pink, red, salmon, doubles, singles, so there really is one for every household or occasion.

Here are a few quick tips:

•Ideal planting Period: October until the end of April (or November if you're me-whoops!)

•Flowering Period: Late December until the end of June (probably January for the ones I just did...)

•Flowering time is 7-10 weeks (a good long bloom time, and they are great as a cut flower as well, lasting several weeks.)

•Larger bulbs produce more flowers (and often send off new baby bulbs!)

•Always store un-planted bulbs in a cool place between 40-50 deg. F.  (I pull mine out of the soil in late summer after they've been in the garden so they can develop foliage then store them in the garage in sawdust to keep them dry.)

After Bloom Care:

After-Flowering. After the amaryllis has stopped flowering, it can be made to flower again.  Cut the old flowers from the stem after flowering, and when the stem starts to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb.

Leaf Growth and Development.  Continue to water and fertilize as normal all summer, or for at least 5-6 months, allowing the leaves to fully develop and grow.  When the leaves begin to yellow, which normally occurs in the early fall, cut the leaves back to about 2 inches from the top of the bulb and remove the bulb from the soil.

Bulb Storage.  Clean the bulb and place it in a cool (40-50 deg. F), dark place such as the crisper of your refrigerator for a minimum of 6 weeks.  Caution: Do not store amaryllis bulbs in a refrigerator that contains apples, this will sterilize the bulbs.  Store the bulbs for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Plant Again. After 6 weeks you may remove bulbs whenever you would like to plant them.  Plant bulbs 8 weeks before you would like them to bloom.

I'll post progress photos as the bulbs develop so you can see them, feel free to share any tales you've had growing bulbs as well.


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