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on the window sill

On 28, Dec 2014 | No Comments | In plants, wintergarden | By All Year Garden

I always felt that amaryllis was too formal a flower, almost artificial in its perfection, until my daughter decided that we should grow one on the window sill and picked this bulb. Its name is “Picotee” and it graced our home for over five years.

Amaryllis is a Christmas bulb, it starts forming new leaves and buds mid-fall and produces these amazing flowers towards the end of December. Its foliage doesn’t wither like that of other bulbs and once the danger of frost has passed you should move it outdoors and let it adjust slowly to a sunny location.

The amaryllis benefits from heavy feeding with a fertilizer rich in phosphorus, it takes a lot of energy to generate such large flowers. Don’t bring it back inside too soon in the fall, it is not a tropical bulb and needs a cool dry period to regenerate, just like the hyacinths and the tulips. It is however frost tender, don’t let the ground freeze around it.

After three years my plant had babies, its bulb produced offsets, just like a classic lily bulb. If you don’t divide the bulb the bulblets will keep growing together and form a clump.

Blooming is extremely reliable and if the plant is well fed and gets enough sunlight during the summer the flowers will get larger and more spectacular with the passing of time. Unlike the hyacinths that get tired after a few years the amaryllis doesn’t consume itself in the production of flowers.

Keep the plant in a well lit location with indirect light, let it get pot-bound, and don’t forget to feed and water, especially during its dormant period.