When your green thumb is itching to dig in the dirt this winter, turn to amaryllis for a quick fix. One of the easiest and most impressive flowers around, this bulb blossoms in almost every color of the rainbow, from velvety red to pale green, with huge trumpet-shaped blooms that may reach 8 inches across.
Plant one bulb in a single pot or several in a larger container. For one amaryllis, choose a vessel at least 7 to 8 inches deep and 1 inch larger than the bulb in diameter. Make sure the pot you choose has proper drainage holes to keep the roots from becoming waterlogged. Put a few inches of potting mix in the pot, settle the bulb on top, then fill in the sides with additional mix. When you’re done, the top one-third of the bulb should be popping out from the dirt. Place the container in a cool, sunny spot and keep the potting mix barely moist.
Depending on the variety, it takes about a month for the bulb to sprout. Later, once the flowers burst open, move the container away from direct sunlight and keep it cool. When the first round of blooms fades, cut them off and, once the stem is bare, cut it back to just above the bulb. Some amaryllis types may produce a second, or even third, batch of brilliant blooms.
Once the stem sprouts, turn the pot occasionally to even out sun exposure to ensure straight growth.
Gifts That Grow
Amaryllis bulbs are thoughtful gifts for avid gardeners, brown thumbs and everyone in between. Longfield Gardens offers full kits—complete with a bulb, soil, moss and container—starting at about $15. Shop the holiday selection at Longfield Gardens.