Photos taken in November 2020
Last January I noticed a couple of amaryllis plants on sale in an unlikely place–a building supplies store. They were well past their blooming time, which likely happened before or at Christmas. I bought one.
The label said it was called “Apple Blossom,” white with pink stripes.
On investigating, I found the cute little pot had no drainage hole, and instead of soil, the bulb was stuck into pure peat and nothing else. Clearly, the unfortunate bulb was intended to be a one-bloom-wonder decor item, to be pitched out when the show was over.
I repotted it into a good soil mix in a clay pot. I watered it and watched it grow long floppy leaves. In June, it went outside along with my other amaryllis, a bright scarlet specimen.
By the end of July, both plants were showing signs of approaching dormancy. Their leaves were turning yellow. I reduced watering and prepared to stash them in a cool basement spot for a couple of months’ rest.
“Apple Blossom” had other ideas. First I noticed a couple of new leaves sprouting, and then a bud. I resumed watering. Now it’s in bloom.
I’m glad I rescued “Apple Blossom.”
Chronological disclosure: I took the photos and wrote the post between August 15th and 20th. The plant has pretty much finished blooming by now.
I’ve had this one amaryllis among my houseplants for years. Maybe decades. I can’t remember where I got it and have no idea what its variety name is. It’s a basic bright scarlet. No stripes or two-tone effects.
I vaguely recall it blooming long ago and trying various techniques to get it to rebloom — putting it outside for the summer, withholding water when leaves started yellowing, etc. What happened was the bulb split into three smaller bulbs. I potted them individually and grew them on. Sometimes one of them surprised me and put out a bloom stalk, but the bulbs remained small.
I must have figured out the proper treatment somewhere along the line. One bulb, which spent most of the time in an east window, got bigger and fatter. It has bloomed reliably, and this year (after a splendid growth of leaves last spring and summer) decided to form not one, but two bloom stalks. What is strange is that it never had the necessary period of dormancy first. A couple of leaves started to yellow last fall, so I reduced watering in preparation for dormancy during the winter. Instead, the plant sprouted a bud! So I resumed watering and moved it to a south window. A few weeks later, a second bud emerged. Thrills and excitement!
Here is a series of pictures from bud to bloom, January 26th to February 2nd.
I’ve had a couple of amaryllis bulbs languishing in pots in a south-facing basement window for years. A purchased bulb bloomed and then split into smaller bulbs, which I dutifully potted up. Most of the time they do nothing but grow leaves now and then, but several weeks ago, to my surprise, I noticed one of them was developing a bud. Great excitement! I brought the plant out of exile to a prime spot on the table in an east-facing bay window.
Two big red flowers opened in due course, and lasted for a full two weeks.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t the usual time for these plants to bloom. I associate them with late winter, but maybe that’s because they are sold around Christmas time, and are often given as gifts. I recall occasions when mine (probably different manifestations of this same plant) bloomed in September. I reasoned that they may somehow have known it was spring in the southern hemisphere, since their place of origin is South Africa.
Out of season or not, I enjoyed the company of these gaudy and impressive flowers. Now that they have withered, the plant’s new leaves look rather elegant, so I’ll delay its return to the basement.
The trick now is to manage the plant so it will repeat the performance some day. I won’t even try to guess when that might be.