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Awesome Amaryllis

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Beautiful, huge flowers with stately foliage make Amaryllis the perfect addition to your holiday décor. Hardy, fun to grow and with the proper care, the bulb will flower from year to year. Amaryllis will bloom in 6 to 10 weeks from the time it is potted and watered. Netherlands Bulb Company has supplied our garden center with a super selection of amaryllis varieties in sizes 26+cm (diameter of bulb) to the awesome 40+ cm size. Reasonably priced in an assortment of colors, some double flowering, these amaryllis are sure to match your holiday colors! Remember the bigger the bulb, produce abundant, huge flowers. Larger sized bulbs will often produce two to three flowers per stalk, re–flowering multiple times in a growing season.

Pesche’s potting mix is the perfect planting medium, well drained, sterilized with a soil PH between 6.0 and 6.5. Our potting mix is a combination of bark, peat moss and perlite. Select a container with good drainage that is two inches larger in diameter than the base of the bulb. Amaryllis thrives under conditions in which they are slightly root bound. Make sure 1/3 of the bulb is above the soil line. Water well after planting and keep the soil slightly moist until flowering; water when surface feels dry to touch. When flower stalks appear, increase your watering, once to twice a week should be adequate. Amaryllis grows best indoors in a well lighted area with three to four hours of natural sunlight. Indoor temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees are great to establish new growth. When flower stalks appear you may need to support them to avoid breakage. At flowering time, a temperature of 65 degrees will help maintain longer lasting flowers. The trick to longevity of amaryllis is to keep plants actively growing after flowering. When the flower dries cut off the flower stalk to a couple of inches from the top of the bulb (Do this over a sink since the stalks are usually full of water). Fertilize with Monty’s Joy Juice every 2 weeks; use the 8–16–8 formula with the yellow label.

Amaryllis can be grown indoors all year round or moved outside after danger of last frost.

Follow these steps to get your amaryllis to re–flower next year:

  • 4 1/2 months from Christmas, stop watering and fertilizing.
  • After the soil dries out, remove the bulb from the pot, clean off excess soil, dried up roots and dead foliage.
  • Place the bulb in an open brown bag sideways. Ideal storage temperature is 55 degrees. Bulbs should be kept in a dark area. ( I have an attached garage that stays between 50–55 degrees which works perfectly).
    Note: Some of our customers have had good luck resting their bulbs in the same pot with thoroughly dry soil.
    DO NOT store any bulbs in a refrigerator with fruits (such as applies0 which emit ethylene gas. This naturally occurring gas damages flower development.
  • Two months before the holidays repot your amaryllis with fresh Pesche’s potting mix and resume watering. Fertilize after late growth appears.

Amaryllis are very easy to grow and will last indefinitely if you provide the right conditions. The above pointers will give optimal conditions for growth. You may experiment with some of these techniques, the main points are:

  • Feed it.
  • Keep it in a pot that is sized “just right” and not to big with good drainage.
  • Keep the soil moist, never soggy.
  • Give the bulbs a rest for 2 to 3 months in early fall.

Last November, I potted up three Red Lion 40+cm Amaryllis in the right size pot. Each bulb produced three flower stalks with four flowers per stalk. What a spectacular show of beautiful bright red flowers to accent our Christmas tree. The whole family enjoyed the rapid growth and flowering of this “aristocrat of tender bulbs”.