Red, I always forget

I started growing a couple of Amaryllis plants one year around Christmas, when on a whim I picked up two bulb kits on clearance at a local big-box store. I hadn't grown them before, but at 50 cents each they were a bargain. I potted them up in the little plastic pots they came in, using the included potting mix -- which seemed like straight peat moss. They both bloomed soon after: large, red, frilly blooms, a welcome burst of bold color for a winter windowsill.

The blooms faded, but the leaves remained, so I kept caring for the plants, putting them outdoors once it warmed up. Toward the end of summer you're supposed to move them into a dark spot until the foliage dies, then bring the bulbs out, repot them and enjoy new blooms around Christmas.


I have no trouble at all growing these plants. They are remarkable undemanding, and are still in the original pots with the original peat potting mix -- I never repotted them. I may fertilize them once or twice a summer, but that's it.

The trouble I have is remembering to bring them into the garage early enough to get them dormant for winter blooms. Actually, I should say that's the first thing I have trouble with.

I usually just bring these into the garage in the fall just before the first frosts. That's not nearly enough time to go dormant before Christmas.

The second thing I can never remember is to bring them out of the garage early enough. Last year I completely forgot about them and they bloomed anyway in May, even though they were still on a dark shelf in my garage.

This year they started doing the same thing, but since they were on a more visible shelf I noticed the blooms and put them outside.

The blooms are bigger than ever. This must be their 5th year of blooming at least. They are so intensely red!

Something (snails?) really love the stem on this one, but it's still holding, even though you can see right through the damage to the other side.

Gotta love a plant that can provide so much bang for so little effort!

I just wish I could remember to do what I need, when I need to so they'll bloom in winter.


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Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (May 7, 2012 at 10:26 AM)  

Hi Alan - Amaryllis was one of the first bulbs I ever planted in my garden about 3 years ago. Its a South African native - specifically it comes from the Western Cape which is the region / province (State) both Barbie & I live in :). They are remarkably easy to grow, will survive a mild frost even ... but the bad news is that that that looks like a lily borer got in there. They can also get attacked by 'snout beetle'.
They like to be left in place for many years (so leaving it in the pot for so long was good - They say "These plants resent being moved and do not flower for several seasons after transplanting"). I read up and it says that "Offsets may be removed from the bulbs during late Summer - Replant bulbs and offsets immediately". They also grow from the harvested seed.

PS: Your photographs are absolutely beautiful! What a magnificent red that is!

Alan  – (May 7, 2012 at 2:36 PM)  

Christine: glad that laziness paid off! I'm pretty sure we don't have lily borers or snout beetles here, so I'm still thinking it's slugs. If the plant dies soon I'll know it was something worse though.

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