Christmas only really starts for me when I plant my amaryllis bulbs. For as long as I can remember, there’s been amaryllis bulbs flowering over the festive season at my family’s home. And I like to keep up the tradition by having them in my own home. If you listened in to this week’s BBC Radio Leicester show, you will have heard me talking about the amaryllis varieties I’m planting at the moment. Some are for me, and some will be given as Christmas presents.
Carmen is the deep velvety red single-flowering bulb I mentioned on the show. I was potting them up as we talked. The box kits from Taylors Bulbs contain a plant pot and compost which makes life easier. Everything needed is contained in one box.
This beautiful double white amaryllis is Marilyn. I love the lime green centre of the flowers.
This is the pink and white striped double amaryllis I’ve chosen. It’s called Lady Jane. Which is quite a fancy name for quite a fancy flower!
Amaryllis Rilona has wonderful deep apricot single flowers with a darker eye. The flowers are edged in white, and if you look closely you can see darker orange stripes or veins radiating from the centre of the flowers to the tips.
When choosing bulbs, always go for the largest you can find. The larger the bulb, the more flower spikes will be produced. Usually one single spike is followed by a second, or even a third, if you are very lucky.
I asked Taylors Bulbs for some planting and general care advice:
How To Plant Amaryllis In Pots/Containers:
1. Soak the dry roots (not the bulb) in lukewarm water for about
45mins. Make sure to cut off any damaged roots before potting.
2. Fill the base of your pot (at least 20cm) with multi-purpose
compost, covering the drainage hole.
3. Feed the roots into the pot, spreading them out onto the compost and fill in around them with more compost.
4. Bury the bottom half of the bulb, so that it is secure in the pot.
5. Stand the pot in a well-lit position and keep the compost moist, but
do not over water.
* Amaryllis are great for the windowsill. Remember to turn the pot
regularly to prevent the stems bending towards the light.
* Once your Amaryllis flowers have faded, cut the whole stem off as
close to the base as possible.
* Water and feed them with a balanced fertiliser every few weeks to
help build up strength for next year.
* Make sure to give them plenty of light, as this helps the leaves
* To help encourage them to flower next year cut any old foliage back
to the neck of the bulb. Move them into a warm position and continue to water them.
Re-potting Amaryllis Bulbs:
* After every two to three years it’s a good idea to re-pot amaryllis
bulbs for continued good displays.
* Amaryllis tend to grow best in small pots, so don’t be tempted to
re-pot into a larger pot.
* After flowering, remove the bulbs from the compost and gently remove the compost around the roots. Then refill your pot with fresh compost and replant the bulb.
About Taylors Bulbs:
Taylors Bulbs are a fourth generation family business, growing and supplying flower bulbs and associated products since 1919.
Daffodils are grown on our farm in Holbeach, Lincolnshire where we also design and pack a large range of products predominantly for the UK and Irish markets.
Still a thriving family business employing over 200 staff at peak times, we pride ourselves on the award winning service we offer our customers.
Here’s some more amaryllis I’ve grown at Christmas. In the second year, they often flower either very early in November, or as late as May. Either way they are very welcome at a time when there are few flowers to enjoy in the garden. Indoor bulbs fill the gap.
Thanks for reading the blog, and for listening in to the radio. I also write a weekly column for Garden News Magazine, so I’m either talking or writing about flowers every day of the week. Happy gardening everyone!