HerbDoc’s amaryllis is blooming now. Better late than never!
Every year or two someone who knows my love for all growing things gives me an amaryllis bulb for Christmas. This year one came advertised are pure white, but when the green flower spath emerged, color could be seen through it. It opened two days ago and is reminiscent of peppermints with its deep pink stripes on white flowers.
Even though they are sold as amaryllis, they are actually Hippeastrum. The bulbs are very tender and should not be exposed to cold. Three years ago a relative in North Carolina had one shipped to me at Christmas, and by the time it arrived in the back of a frigid UPS truck, it was beyond hope.
I love these bulbs that brighten the winter months and give huge rewards with very little effort. After blooming I treat them as houseplants, keeping the soil moist and giving them a dose of fertilizer every two weeks. Cut off the flower stems right above the bulb nose and move them outside for the summer, bringing them back indoors in September. Then stop watering and put in a cool, dry place (around 55- 60 degrees) for 10 to 12 weeks. After that period, remove the bulb from its pot and clean off the old foliage. Re-pot in fresh soil, leaving about one third of the bulb exposed. Water sparingly until new growth emerges. Once it does, water regularly and start the fertilizer regimen. Voila! The amaryllis should re-bloom approximately 8 weeks after the first watering.