Amaryllis Flowers bring splendor to your Garden Patio

AmaryllisAmaryllis flowers have become increasingly popular as gift plants, undoubtedly because the bulbs bloom so freely on garden patios as well as indoors.

The large, showy flowers make a bold statement and are available in a large variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Amaryllis are not difficult to grow.  You can bring them into bloom every year if you treat the plants correctly.

You can keep your amaryllis indefinitely, and if you can provide the right conditions for growth and dormancy, your bulb will get larger and multiply itself over the years.

Large bulbs may produce as many as three flower stalks and some bulbs may bloom during the summer as well as during the winter, depending on the temperature and other growing conditions.

But in the main, they are very easy to grow.  And this is one of the best features of the amaryllis.

Where does the Amaryllis flower come from?

Amaryllis bulbs and flowers belong to the genus Hippeastrum which is native to tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas.

Some species grow in rock crevices in savannas; others grow in high plateau regions that have cool weather for most of the year.

One species from Brazil is epiphytic and grows in trees with no soil around the roots.

Many species have been hybridized to produce today’s beautiful hybrids.

Most of them like warm, humid conditions with abundant rainfall for most of the year.  They also prefer a short, cooler dry season.

How to grow Giant flowers from Giant Amaryllis bulbs

A good tip is to keep your Amaryllis bulbs in cool storage until the bulbs signal that they are ready to go.

Amaryllis bulbs usually lose all or most of their leaves during their dormancy period. However, it is not necessary for all the leaves to wither for the bulb to reach complete dormancy. It’s ok if some of the leaves stay on the bulb.

To store your amaryllis bulbs, keep them on the dry side and check them every week. After eight to ten weeks of cool storage, you should notice the tip of the new flower stalk emerging from the bulb.

If you shift the bulb to a warm spot (70-80°F) for three weeks, you will encourage leaves to emerge. At the same time the flower stalk is developing.

This is the best time to repot your bulbs in fresh soil. Be careful not to bury the bulbs too deeply. At least one third of the bulb should be visible above the soil surface.

Don’t plant the bulb in a pot that is any more than twice the diameter of the bulb.

When you repot your amaryllis bulbs, you may notice smaller side bulbs that can be broken away from the main bulb.

These can also be potted and grown on in a sunny spot on your garden patio. These smaller side bulbs will not bloom this year, but they may bloom after two or three years of growth.

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