Amaryllis, the Perfect Flower for…Valentines Day???

I will admit, I love amaryllises (and yes, I got the plural right…but I’ll admit, I had to look it up).  Those giant bulbs, the perfect green spears, and finally, that amazing, huge, showstopping bloom!  It’s the perfect flower, and, like many others, I love to use them at Christmastime.  But, I’m sure you’re wondering, why am I talking about it today, Valentine’s Day?  Well, sadly, I didn’t have much luck this year…my amaryllises are just blooming now!

Kitchen WindowIn my kitchen, I have a perfect spot for flowers.  The sink is angled and in the corner, and above the sink are two huge windows.  There is a perfect triangular spot for flowers, and I love to swap those out during the year for the seasons.  A few years ago, I had the brilliant idea of planting amaryllis bulbs and paper whites.  I ran to my local Home Depot, color coordinated the blooms, planted, and waited for them to come.  Sure enough, they were perfect!  I had some buds showing by Thanksgiving, and by Christmas, they were in full bloom. Needless to say, I was proud!

Buds StartingSo, being the optimist that I am, I thought, I need to save these bulbs, because I can do it again next year!  And I did just that.  I cut the leaves and stems off, shook off the dirt, and put them in my shed.  And then, come October, I potted them up (as I had read, about 8-10 weeks before you want them to bloom).  They started to sprout right away, and I was thrilled.  Those leaves shot up, and more leaves, and more leaves, and, well, that was it, just leaves.  No buds ever came.  Realizing I had either underestimated the re-blooming process or overestimated my gardening skills, I did some research.  What I found out was you have to keep them growing and feed them into late winter, spring, and summer.  So last year, after the holidays and my sad leaf display, I re-potted the bulbs (after all, I had to rotate in some spring flowers for my kitchen display), kept them watered and fed, and eventually, when it was warm enough, I moved them to the porch.

Making ProgressI can proudly tell you, after following these guidelines, I was the only house on the block that was sporting huge amaryllis blooms in June!  That’s right, after I re-potted them and once they started growing, several sent up blooms.  I’m sure it was because I didn’t give them the nutrients they needed to develop the buds, but once I kept them going, they finally had blooms.  So, keeping with my research, I read that you should keep them going all summer, then, in mid-August, stop watering and move them to a dark, cool location.

AlmostBeing the rule follower that I am, I did just that.  I moved them to a cool, dark part of the basement and stopped watering them.  It lasted for 8 weeks.  After that time, in October, I re-potted them and began to water.  Sure enough, there was growth, and I was thrilled.  But the problem was, my timing was still off.  While I had growth, and eventually buds, I was a few months off.

I’ve watered these buds, and talked to them, coaxing out a bloom, but I wasn’t rewarded until now, about 2 months after I wanted the show.  But, I have to say, I’m still relieved that they bloomed this year, and not in the summer.  Maybe this year I’ll move my timing up a bit, but hopefully the bulbs are now getting back into the routine after I messed with them for a while year.  We’ll see!  Hopefully you have more luck.  I’d love to hear how you’ve succeeded (if you have).

So, for Valentine’s Day this year, we have beautiful amaryllises.  Hopefully you have some lovely flowers today also.  Happy Valentine’s Day!Blooms

2 thoughts on “Amaryllis, the Perfect Flower for…Valentines Day???

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s