While travelling in Australia and Peru I have been amazed by the abundance and beauty of red, pink, white and striped amaryllis blooming in parks and gardens. This spring-blooming bulb in October Down Under is an indoor container plant in Canada. Fortunately for us, it’s a fairly easy one to grow in a pot. And, because now is the right time to plant them in Canada, amaryllis plants make wonderful Christmas gifts, especially for gardeners.
In fact, you can pot-up an amaryllis bulb for someone on your list and personalize it by adding some special bling at the Amaryllis Potting Bar at this year’s Toronto Botanical Garden Holiday Market & Open House, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, 2017.
Moss, twigs, fairy lights, seasonal decorations, ornaments, beads, baubles, fancy pots and vases…add whatever accessories you like to make a special gift even more spectacular. You purchase the bulb and then pay separately for whatever accessories you choose. Free potting.
12 facts you may or may not know about Amaryllis
- Amaryllis or Hippeastrum hybrids originated in the Amazon and have been cultivated since about 1800.
- Amaryllis means to sparkle in Greek.
- Both small and large blooming varieties are also popular as cut flowers which will last for up to 10 days in water.
- While the most popular colours are red and white, flowers may also be pink, salmon, apricot, rose or deep burgundy. Some varieties are bicolour such as purple and green, or picotee (having petals with a different coloured edge).
- Amaryllis bulbs, available from September through December, let you determine the start of their flowering period within about a week by planting them from five to six weeks before you want them to bloom.
- For successive blooms throughout the winter, plant bulbs a week to 10 days apart.
- Amaryllis nurtured through the summer and over-wintered will usually flower again in spring.
- Bigger bulbs are usually more expensive but will have larger flowers and generally two to three stems, each producing three to four flowers.
- Each plant produces from two to five flowers which stay in bloom an average of 2-3 weeks.
- Today, most amaryllis are hybrids but are still classified in the genus Hippeastrum.
- Plant breeders have developed more than 600 named varieties!
- Amaryllis flowers range from 4 to 10 inches in size, and can be either single or double in form. Their sturdy stems can be up to 27 inches tall and may need stalking.