The Amaryllis Parade

The first amaryllis for the winter of ’21-’22…

Amaryllis (actually Hippeastrum but isn’t that an ugly name?) is one of my favorite flowers to brighten the scene in winter. Unlike some people who plant up several for the holidays, I pot one bulb every week or ten days so that I can have beautiful flowers throughout as much of the winter as possible. Last year I had amaryllis blooming from December 22-April 10th. This winter’s first amaryllis, shown above, began blooming December 31st and just finished January 22nd. It had a total of 9!!! gorgeous, huge blooms. Unfortunately I have no clue what variety it is (an unlabeled gift) but it was a bright coral/red with a white star center. Definitely a keeper!

Over the years several of my original bulbs have produced offshoots that are now big enough to bloom, so I’m hoping to have flowers even a bit longer. This year, because our first real frost came so late, the plants weren’t brought indoors to rest until late October, which delayed the starting time a bit. The bulbs really do need at least 8 weeks in a dark place to completely dry out and rest. Then they are removed from the pot, soil removed, layers of any loose, papery skin taken off, roots checked and trimmed if any are brown and shriveled, and re-potted into new soil with a bit of bone meal mixed in. Usually they need a slightly larger pot than before. And if off-shoots are golf ball sized or larger, I break them off and store them. Next spring I’ll give each one their own little pot to grow all summer and it’s likely they will bloom next winter.

Amaryllis #2…”Splash”

“Splash” only has two flowers right now, which is exactly what it had last year, but there’s another bud forming. It’s a bright red double with a white center. You can tell it is beginning to go, because the red is fading and isn’t nearly as deep red as it was. And yes, the nutcrackers are still out, providing a bit of colorful cheer.

Amaryllis “Rilona”….my new favorite!

Happily, the only new bulb ordered this year (from Brent & Becky’s) opened today. It must have known it’s my birthday! The glare from the snow makes it harder to tell, but it’s a gorgeous soft orange (my favorite color!) and the four flowers are huge. As you can see, there is another bulb stalk in the back that will provide another set of flowers. We do have a light layer of snow, although the sidewalk is practically clear. It’s minus 4 degrees F this morn here in north central Indiana, but the sunshine and blue skies sure make it looking inviting

I need to start another bulb today. I’m just picking pots at random but those that have been resting on the basement’s little wheeled plant stand are coming up first round because I’ll need that lighted stand when I begin potting dahlias next month. Maybe I’ll count them while I am down there, since I have no clue how many I carried in last fall. Amaryllis are SO EASY, and their long bloom time and even longer lifetime make them worth every penny of that initial investment.

Does it seem to you as though it has been January forever? Doesn’t New Year’s Eve seem long, long ago? It does to me, but February will arrive in only 5 days and then the REAL seed starting begins in earnest! Hurrah!

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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8 Responses to The Amaryllis Parade

  1. Yes, January just goes on and on like the “pink bunny” in those battery ads that used to run on television. I used to love January for its cold, clear, crisp, sunny days. This year has been ridiculous. NO sunshine at all but either frozen fog (which can be quite lovely) or dark grey thermal inversion.

    My mother cultivated red Amaryllis along her front borders. If a good-sized bloom cluster was ready by Easter, she cut one stalk for me to take to church for the “Flowering of the Cross” at the children’s service. That’s an old Southern custom, I suppose, as it isn’t done out here in the Northwest. Pity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • carolee says:

      I’ve never heard of “Flowering of the Cross” but it sounds like a lovely tradition. Yes, it is STILL January, but at least we’ve had a bit of sunshine now and then, and the moon and Orion have been absolutely gorgeous. I’m sure I’ll look back on this looooonnnnggg January, and wish I’d accomplished more. I haven’t even started my big indoor project that was supposed to occupy me all winter!!!

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  2. Su says:

    Happy Birthday! It’s been really cold here in MN, too, but it looks like we’ll get some warming up (highs in the 20’s!) for the next couple of weeks. Since weather moves (generally) west to east, you’ll get it soon. šŸ™‚

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    • carolee says:

      It is much warmer this morning…Friday 28th…29 degrees F, a big improvement over the minus and single digits of the earlier days this week. I need to move some things from the pole barn to the basement, and move another bag of potting soil in as well, so I’m hoping for a bit of sunshine and weather where I won’t immediately get frostbitten if I trudge all the way to the barn and back!

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  3. Beth says:

    I love amaryllis! Yours are beautiful and I’m anxious to see more! The unknown variety may be a Minerva. I’ve had three to bloom already this year and each will continue to do so for several weeks as each bulb had 3 stalks and the third stalk is just beginning to move upward. My original Red Lion opens blooms every year at Easter, like clockwork! Since I’m in a warmer climate mine stay in pots year-round and I divide up every few years. The winter storm was hard on them last year and although they bloomed afterward, they have struggled in the summer heat.

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    • carolee says:

      I will need to look for Red Lion! Mine stay in pots year-round, too but live under the plant bench all summer until frost comes then get moved to the basement to rest. I definitely need a new color or two!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Going Batty in Wales says:

    happy Birthday! How lovely that one of your favourites blosomed to brighten your day. They are spectacular flowers. I can see the first shoots of snowdrops so Spring is on its way here – about time too! I am tired of grey!

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    • carolee says:

      Nary a sign of growth here, except for a handful of daffodil tips that emerged an inch or so before it actually became winter. I keep looking where the snowdrops will/should be, because a friend in southern Indiana has some blooming already but must be in a protected spot. If I didn’t have my amaryllis and baby seedlings, I’m sure I’d be more forlorn. Be sure to show pix of your snowdrops when they do bloom!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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