Amaryllis "Apple Blossom" August 2020

Rescue Amaryllis: “Apple Blossom”

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.

Amaryllis "Apple Blossom" Label

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.

Amaryllis "Apple Blossom" August 2020
Amaryllis "Apple Blossom" August 2020
Amaryllis "Apple Blossom" August 2020
Amaryllis "Apple Blossom" August 2020

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.

Scarlet amaryllis flower 2020

Amaryllis Unfolding

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.

Scarlet amaryllis bud opening 2020
Scarlet amaryllis bud opening 2020
Scarlet amaryllis bud unfolding 2020
Scarlet amaryllis buds about to open 2020
Scarlet amaryllis flower 2020
The first of four flowers!
Second amaryllis bud developing 2020
The second bud. Maybe only two flowers rather than four.