The amaryllis varieties bred in South Africa offer wonderful features making this tropical bulb a must for winter indoor gardening. These amaryllis produce larger flowers, longer-lasting blooms and more flowering stems. Bred specifically for growing in containers, this group of winter-flowering bulbs has shorter, stouter stems making the proportions between the pot, stems and blooms more balanced. The heavy flower heads don’t topple over.
Blooming at Christmas is easy for these amaryllis. Even though the natural blooming season for these South African varieties is October, they can be potted anytime and will start blooming three to four weeks later. Start these tropical bulbs warm, above 72 F, and then grow them at room temperature in bright light until the buds start to open. Move the plant away from bright light while flowering. Cooler temperatures extend the bloom time.
Common Name: Amaryllis
Botanical Name: Hippeastrum spp.
Varieties: ‘Rosetta’, ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Candy Floss’, ‘Snow White’
Color: White, pink, salmon, red and bi-colors
Blooming Period: Early winter months
How to Plant: In a 6-inch pot, place the bulb so that the nose is above the rim of the pot and the shoulders are just above the soil medium.
Fertilizing: Use a liquid fertilizer for blooming plants after flowering has finished until mid-summer.
From Missouri Gardener Volume I Issue IV.
Red amaryllis photo courtesy of New Image and pink amaryllis courtesty of Rosetta.
Alice Longfellow has owned and operated Longfellow’s Garden Center in Centertown for 25 years and shares her gardening knowledge weekly on the mid-Missouri based radio show The Garden Spot.