Watching a plant grow can be exciting especially if you know there is a beautiful bloom awaiting. That is one of the rewards during the holiday season when forcing amaryllis. Your next enjoyable blooms could be just weeks away from the amaryllis bulbs and bulb kits available at your local garden center.
Normally these are the common and easy to grow amaryllis that come with a container, soil and a big bulb. The bulbs are placed in the container with the soil or peat so the necks are exposed and then kept moist. If kept in a warm spot with bright light, you can expect almost immediate growth and flowers in about a month.
Well, this year I wanted something different so I ordered some less common amaryllis bulbs from a mail order supplier. I was willing to take a chance and bear the expense to see how well these did in the Florida climate. Actually I did not expect them to flower for the holidays. But after about four weeks of growth one named Estella bloomed and is sending up additional stalks of buds. Snow Drift (pictured) just opened two stalks of double white blooms
Others ordered and with buds growing include White Christmas, Temptation and Benfica. I kept them outdoors in filtered sun until the bulbs started growth and showed the flower stalks. Then they have been indoors in an equally bright spot to enjoy some warmth. The soils are kept moist but not overly so. Too much water delays flowering or causes rot.
So will the rest finish the flowering cycle? I hope so and intend to keep you posted. The real question is, will they flower another year?
Not all amaryllis varieties are good repeat bloomers locally. My aim is to test these new ones and learn how well they rebloom. After they flower during the holidays, it takes about a year to give a repeat performance if at all.
When the flowers fade the plants are to be kept in pots and put with the reliable bloomers from the past. They receive about three to four light fertilizer applications a year and are kept in filtered sun.
I will let you know the result of this repeat bloom experiment in about a year.