Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Update:My Amaryllis Bulb is DEAD

Oh, my dear friends ... alas, my re-potted amaryllis bulb from last year will not be blooming this Christmas. Poor thing.  It is ... dead.  Very dead.  A mushy mess.  Its roots the texture of soggy spaghetti.  A gaping hole in its side. I had such high hopes. I really did. I had planted the bulb up to its shoulders. Watered it only once.  Kept it in filtered light and out of drafts. I even talked to it. It just gave up. Please, a moment of silence ....

Ok, now that I've got that out of the way.  First, I'll tell you what I'm not going to do.  I'm not going to buy any of those ... kits.  You know what I'm talking about. One of those cute little square boxes with a picture of a large, beautiful, blooming amaryllis flower on the front.  Always a Christmas season favorite, the colorful box beckons you with its enticing promises. Makes a wonderful Christmas gift!  Easy to grow beautiful flowers to brighten your Holidays!  Wait! Wait!  Oh, too late. You bought one. Do you know what you're going to find in that box once you take your little treasure home?  Nothing but a small plastic flowerpot, a flimsy coir pellet, and a small to medium sized bulb with dusty, shriveled up roots. I can just see the perplexed look on your face as you stare at the contents.  You're thinking ... how could such beautiful flowers ever grow from such a half dead, puny little bulb like this?  All, I can say is, don't expect much. You might as well plant it. Maybe you'll get some growth. Maybe even a flower.  Maybe ...

You see, with amaryllis bulbs, bigger is better. To get off to a good start, choose large bulbs with no signs of rot, discoloration, or mold. An amaryllis bulb should be about the size of a very large onion, firm and heavy for its size. Plant it in good, well draining potting soil.  One large, healthy bulb should produce a plant with at least two flower stalks covered with as many as 3-4 blossoms per stalk.  Since a blooming amaryllis can be very top heavy, plant it in a heavy flowerpot. A sturdy flowerpot will help to support the weight of the nearly 2 foot tall plant and its very large flowers. 

 You're thinking, but it's nearly the end of November. Don't despair. You still have some options. You can still buy bulbs online or at local nursery if you want to plant your own amaryllis bulbs now.  It's kind of late for Christmas blooms, but you'd still be able to enjoy the lovely bright blooms during the dark, cold days of winter.  Or, like me ...

You don't have to wait.  I've decided I'm going to visit a local reputable plant nursery and buy a few amaryllis plants.  I think I'll buy some with flowers just starting to form.  And ...  I'll also buy one, maybe two, with blooms just starting to open.  At least that way,  I definitely know I will have a blooming amaryllis this Christmas!

  Happy Gardening

So, how has your luck been growing Amaryllis?  I would love it if you please tell me all about it in the comments.

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