Sunday, October 24, 2010

Christmas Amaryllis

Christmas Amaryllis are not the type you buy at your local nursery or big box store, unless they say, "Christmas Amaryllis."  They can be ordered online http://www.johnscheepers.com/ or sometimes can be found at a specialty nursery.  I am sure there are many other reputable suppliers.  The larger the bulbs, the more flowers that will be produced.


Christmas Amaryllis "Cocktail"

The nice  thing about the Christmas Amaryllis is that they grow in about half the time as regular amaryllis.  I am about ready to plant them hopefully to bloom for Christmas.  I can plant them in stones and water and they will bloom just fine or if I want to keep them from year to year they should be planted in soil. This will determine what type of container you want to use, glass if you are using decorative stones and water, obviously not glass if you are using soil.  I don't think you want the look of roots crawling through the glass, but who knows?

I think I am going to use glass and stones this year, as I have never kept my amaryllis over from year to year.  I am bad, but I just don't have an area to store them.  So, I take the hit and buy them and then dispose of them at the end of the season.

I have already purchased some red painted branches from Home Depot (first year I have noticed them there) also were available in gold and white, and I will use them to hold up the leaves as the amaryllis develop, much better than string tied around them.  I think these are just shrub branches that have been spray painted (you can do this yourself if you have some shrubs that you have thinned.  Although these were inexpensive ($5.99). 



You know the amaryllis bulb is ready to plant when you see the green leaves beginning to poke through the top.

I purchased the glass containers (the deeper the container the better, even the miniatures grow quite tall) at Hobby Lobby, a craft store, and the colored stones at a decor store, but I am sure they are available at many different types of locations.


 Approximately one cup of stones in each container for the bulbs to sit on


I carefully poured into the containers an additional two cups of glass stones to surround the bulbs.  You can shake them a little side to side to even them out.  I also poured in a little less then two cups of water in each and will siphon some off with the turkey baster so it is not too high on the base of the bulb.

This will be better, just so the roots have access to the water.

We would like them to bloom for the holidays so the timing can be a little tricky.  The Christmas Amaryllis can take four to six weeks and the regular amaryllis up to twelve weeks.  It is aways better to be early as you can hold them in a state of suspension by putting them in a cooler place like an attached garage, enclosed porch, cooler basement room (you don't want them to freeze).


The twigs do not need to be placed inside the containers at this time but this just gives you an idea of how they work.  You can take them in and out for best placement in supporting the leaves.




25 comments:

Lisa ~Suburban Retreat~ said...

Good Morning ... I am loving this tutorial! Thanks for sharing ~ I've just learned something new on a Sunday morning and I'm going to hit my local nursery and try this out for Christmas. I'll keep you posted on my progress ~ Cheers!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lisa, you still have plenty of time to plant the Christmas variety and maybe even the regular amaryllis. Good luck, I'll keep updating the progress.

Eileen

Balisha said...

I have 4 amaryllis that I keep from year to year. This year one of them sent up a flower stalk during it's rest outside. Mine are sitting in the cool basement and not getting any water for 6 weeks. Then, hopefully, they will start up again. I don't know about the one that just bloomed, however. I have another new one on the way from American Meadows. I love having them bloom intermittently during the winter.I love a red one for Valentine's Day. Balisha

Edith Hope said...

Dear Eileen, I do like the look of Amaryllis at Christmas but am never usualy prepared sufficiently in advance to achieve them in bloom at the correct time. Perhaps this year, as you have been kind enough to remind me, I may yet succeed!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Balisha, you are good to save them and put them outside or in the cool basement. I have grown many different colors, so I thought I would try the red and white this year.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Edith, I am not great with the timing either, especially if I have to wait eight to twelve weeks. That is why this Christmas variety appeals to me.

Eileen

Lily said...

I have enjoyed reading this post. Beautiful presentation.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Lily, I will be coming to you for help with all of the lilies I planted this fall.

Eileen

Zoey said...

How interesting to read your post today.

Just a few hours ago I had a box of Amaryllis in my hand, then decided not to buy them.

I bet I will regret that when I see your lovely specimen in bloom around Christmas!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Zoey, they come within the week if you order online, still plenty of time to plant. You are so creative, I can see them on your Christmas tablescape!

Eileen

Bernie said...

This is one plant I've never tried to grow. If, however, I ever think I might give them a go I'll make sure I take on your great advice. I like the way you use those branches as support for the floppy leaves.

Karen said...

Oh Eileen, another thing of beauty from your creative hands! I'm not good at overwintering anything, though I keep trying. I love the containers and the branches and look forward to seeing the progress as the bulbs grow.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Bernie, I wonder if they would be a perennial where you are?

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, I am not good either about saving indoor plants for rebloom or bringing plants inside from the garden. I have always had a lot of little insects flying about when I have done this!

Eileen

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

I liked your idea of using the stones and glass vases- an interesting change from standard pots. The red wig branches will not only be good support, they will look great as well. I look forward to seeing them in bloom.

meemsnyc said...

I love amaryllis! They are gorgeous.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Jennifer, I did use the red twig dogwood branches but they were a little thick. I think these will be better.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Meemsync, they are so pretty when the weather is cold outside!

Eileen

fer said...

A great project! Look forward to see your blooms.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I was trying to decide if I was going to grow Amaryllis again this year. Now after seeing this post I think I will. I did leave my bulbs from last year in the garage, but have a feeling they won't sprout this year. I love how you used the branches, what a great idea!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks fer, I hope I have good results to post.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Catherine, I am not sure who gave me the idea of the branches but they look so much better than string or ribbon, natural.

Eileen

RainGardener said...

Hi Eileen,
I just got out of the hospital and the Amaryllis I bought last year Bob took a liking to and adopted. He's done very well and as soon as I got home he pointed to it and said look how much it's grown since you were gone. So he's done very well with it. It's his baby now and he loves it. I'll have to show him your post on yours.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi RG, I have missed you, hope you are on the mend. I don't grow amaryllis every year but this year I thought I would take another chance. They are so beautiful when they are blooming around the holidays.

Eileen

garden girl said...

Very nice Eileen! I like the glass beads and vase - more festive and decorative than potting soil.