Aside from the hibiscus plant, the amaryllis is one of the most favorite flowering bulbs of gardening enthusiast. It is considered one of the most beautiful flowering plants all over the world. This is the reason why a lot of people are asking about gardening tips on caring for amaryllis. Below are steps for amaryllis care.
A short trivia before we go on
Before we get on with the gardening tips, did you know that the amaryllis was not originally named amaryllis? When it was introduced to the market, the amaryllis was called Hippeastrum. This name was rejected by bulb growers because it did not suit the beautiful flowering bulb. The Amaryllis was then renamed “Amaryllis” after one of its progenitors, the Amaryllis Belladona. Since then, this was the name used to refer to this beautiful flowering plant which was first imported into the US by the Dutch.
How tall is the Amaryllis?
The Amaryllis can grow really tall. Its stalks can range from 12 inches to 24 inches, depending on the soil condition and the climate in the area. Like most bulbs, it dislikes frost. You might need to plant it in a greenhouse if you’re thinking of getting a head start for spring. It grows better in warm regions, and will flourish in the tropics. According to sources, it actually originated from tropical countries, and will demand for similar conditions if it were to grow well in other areas.
How do we start?
You can buy Amaryllis as a sapling, a full grown plant, or as bulbs from your local nursery. While they’re not exactly hardy flowering bulbs, they’re not too rare either. They can easily be purchased through the nurseries in your area, and may even be available in bulks. Some are sold in kits, complete with the soil and the pot, although it’s not recommended for you to keep these bulbs in the same soil and pot you’ve bought it in. Chances are that the soil quality is good, and the pot, too small to hold the adult plant in.
The Amaryllis likes well-drained soil. If you’re thinking of planting it on heavy soil, it’s not going to survive. You will need one part of regular potting mix, one part humus, one part sand, and one part perlite or vermiculite to plant this bulb in. You can also mix in Osmocote fertilizer into this mix to make sure that the bulb gets enough nutrition. The soil mix will also depend on the area you live in. For example, adding sand to the mix is done for drainage purposes. You will need this if you live in the North and the weather is colder than usual. You may need less drainage if you live in a warmer area, especially if you live in the tropics.
The size of the pot that you put your Amaryllis in is also important. Remember, when you’re potting your plant, it’s always best for you to go for bigger pots with enough room for adult sized plants. This way, you won’t have to worry so much about replanting them over and over again, and adjusting the soil mix so that the nutrients and the filtering is just right. Of course, this may mean that you might be spending more on water and fertilizer, but this shouldn’t matter if you’re concerned about the quality of your plant. A bulb that’s about the size of an orange should be planted in a 10 to 12-inch pot. This way, you can give the bulb enough space for the roots to grow. Be careful not to plant the bulb in a shallow pot.
Before planting the Amaryllis bulb, you should inspect it first. If you notice a lot of scraggly looking roots growing from the bulb, you should trim them off first. You should also remove any form of dead foliage from your bulb before planting. Once “clean”, put the roots of the bulb in tepid water to hydrate them, but be careful not to get the entire bulb wet. Hydrate the bulb for one or two hours before planting. While you’re letting your bulb hydrate, put something at the bottom of your pot to prevent the soil from spilling out. Screens are really good, while some people place saucers at the bottom of their pots. Then, put ½ to about an inch of gravel at the bottom of your pot. This will help with the drainage of your soil.
Then, fill the pot with soil until the “halfway mark” of the pot. This way, if your bulb’s about the size of an orange, its neck would be just an inch below the top of the pot. Fan out the roots of your bulb and place it in the center of your pot on top of the soil. Then, continue filling the rest of the pot with soil, burying the bulb. Next, you will have to water the plant with tepid water. Make sure that the water has been standing for about a day or two to let the chlorine dissipate. You can then place your newly potted Amaryllis bulb in a very sunny area of the garden. Some people also like putting this on their windows, but it’s best to grow the Amaryllis outdoors so it can get direct sunlight. Be careful not to overwater, and only water your plant again with tepid water once the surface of the soil is already dry.
When will it bloom?
The Amaryllis should bloom in 6 to 8 short weeks if you’ve potted and watered it well. You have to literally rotate the pots because the plant tends to turn to the direction of the light. If you don’t rotate the plant, this will cause the stalks to bend. If you rotate your pots religiously, you may just grow amaryllis flowers with straight stalks. If you don’t see leaves in the bud, don’t worry about it. Usually, leaves only start to appear after the plant has finished blooming. When the plant is in full bloom, you can change the location of the plant to preserve the flowers. You can put them in a cooler, darker place if you don’t want the flowers to wilt too easily. To preserve the life of your bulb, make sure that you cut the flowers once they start to wither.