Everyone needs a flower in their future.
I try two new varieties of Amaryllis/Hippeastrum every winter.
These bulbs get put in the garden every spring to produce many more blooms for years to come.
But for now, I need a flower when it’s cold and my garden in brown.
I need a flower when the gray skies make me blue.
I need a flower in January.
No other bloom will do.
I appreciate the giant, gorgeous blooms of the Amaryllis.
Glowing in the window like my own little sun.
Reminding me that winter will end and spring will come.
I know that April is late for an indoor Amaryllis.
‘Benfica’ has put up its THIRD stalk of blooms.
I am usually pleased to see a second stalk, this is my first for a third.
I hope it does this well out in the garden.
A single stem florescence must maintain balance.
It does this by dancing very slowly around the stem.
Symmetry must be maintained as the flowers bloom.
The round dance is called circumnutation.
I have been watching my Benfica Amaryllis dance this week.
There is an odd number of blooms.
The last one to open is days behind the others and smaller.
I have observed this last bud slowly spinning above its sisters.
It has finally settled down close to the oldest bloom which is beginning to wither.
Taking up the space that is being vacated.
Timing and balance.
We can learn from our green relatives if we pay close attention.
This amaryllis was worth the wait.
Its blooms are a deep, velvet red with ruffles.
The yellow pollen and white-ended pistil add contrast.
I may have a new favorite!
Each winter I order at least one new variety of Amaryllis.
This year I ordered two.
Half-and-half is still blooming and has sent up a second stalk.
Benfica is making me wait.
Its buds are dreamy red velvet.
Every day there is slow progress toward blooming.
It is a joy to watch.
I will be happy when I finally see the faces of its flowers.
Until then, I am enjoying the anticipation.
Half-and-half has been declared the winner
in the 2019 Amaryllis Race.
Benfica lagged behind from the start.
A beauty contest will follow shortly.
Will the late bloomer take that prize?
We shall see.
Don’t throw away these holiday flowers.
Save the Amaryllis/Hippeastrum bulbs until spring.
Plant them outside in a sunny location with good drainage.
Add compost to the hole and plant with the shoulders showing.
They will bloom in May or June.
Multiple stems with many flowers will show off for several weeks.
Then cut the stems and leave the foliage.
They will come back every year with more blooms.
I do add a layer of mulch in late fall in case we have a cold winter here in Zone 7.
These are scattered around my gardens to fill in
while waiting for the daylilies to take center stage in June.
You can rescue them for 1/2 price or less in January.
Every year, I add a new Amaryllis outside.
I am so happy to have anything blooming in January, even if it is inside.
My lovely Apple Blossom Amaryllis/Hippeastrum is blooming again.
The second stalk has produced six more blooms.
The last bud has not opened yet and is sticking up to give its five sisters space to spread out.
I love the delicate white petals and pinkish veins, but what I really admire is the shimmer.
The petals look as though they have been dusted with a fine glitter.
When the sun hits the blooms they truly glow.
Apple Blossom Amaryllis is amazing!
A good Amaryllis/Hippeastrum bulb will bloom twice.
If you peek in the boxes from most “big box” stores the contents look like half a bulb because they split them.
My replacement Exotica bulb sent up a stalk of the usual four blooms last month.
It has bloomed another time with six blooms on the second stalk.
Really lovely colors, markings and shapes.
This one’s a keeper.