October 28, 2006

I succumbed to temptation

Hippeastrum 'Apple Blossom'In theory, I'm not buying any more plants now, right? I don't have much room, and besides, if I'm going to be moving there just isn't any point, right? Right.

Wrong. How could I say no yet again to an Apple Blossom amaryllis at supermarket prices? Especially when it was freshly arrived and hadn't had time to deteriorate under their tender care? My last amaryllis was a supermarket buy too, and it has been happily blooming for me for years now.

Which puts me in a dilemma. I have three sleeping amaryllises. When am I going to wake them up? One thing for sure, I'll do it one at a time, to stretch out the pleasure over the winter.

Did you know that there is no botanical necessity to push your amaryllises (say that three times quickly...) into dormancy? I put mine out every summer to charge up on solar energy, keeping them well fertilized with a high phosphorus fertilizer (the middle number represents phosphorus) so the bulbs will bulk up as much as possible. But I often let them keep growing when I bring them in. They happily keep chugging along and bloom on their own schedule somewhere around early spring. This year though, I left them outside quite late, and they reacted to the declining sunlight and temperatures by going dormant all on their own. I'll just leave them in their pots and store them in a cool, dark place until it's time to prod them into growth again. Say, one for Christmas, one for mid-February, and one for the end of March? That sounds about right, but I'm willing to bet I won't be able to hold out quite that long. Still, with both my Christmas cactuses (cacti, if you like Latin plurals) and my cyclamens sporting flower buds, I might be able to tough it out a bit longer, grey gloomy weather or no.

Previous post on the subject of Amaryllis

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Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Oh, I'm glad that I haven't stumbled over any of those! They are too magnificent to resist.

I'll have to stay away from all the ones selling them.

My Green Thumb Sunday post is about this difficulty to resist these kind of temptations....

waterroots said...

Well, I’m glad I’m not alone in the ‘can’t-resist-an-Amaryllis-kit’. This is where I come clean and confess: I don't have much self control over the Amaryllis displays either; I brought home an Apple Blossom kit as well last weekend and all I was doing was my grocery shopping. In my defense, how on earth could I resist when the packages were so inviting? Now my only problem is how I'm going to stop myself from buying the other two types of Amaryllis that were also available?! :) I’m past the period of ‘no more plants’ when I’m out shopping. I’ve realized there’s no point continuing to lie to myself. As long as there are nice plants available, there will always be room for one more. My new Amaryllis is potted up and sitting snugly in front of my best window. I’m looking forward to the first signs of life. Happy growing!

Janet said...

Do you grow your amaryllises in water also, Waterroots? I have trouble imagining that.

waterroots said...

I sure do. I don’t have any more soil-grown plants in the house. I think people have trouble imagining certain plants in this method because they believe that part of the plant, primarily the root area, is in the water. On the contrary, no part of the plant is in the water at all.

Think of the pellets simply replacing soil as an anchor. And as for water, there is only about ½ inch – 1 inch at the bottom of the pot; not very much (and definitely below the plant). The only difference between soil and hydroculture plants is that one uses dirt and the other uses clay pellets as an anchor. Anything can be grown either way.

Have a good one, Martha

Carol said...

I couldn't resist buying more amaryllis bulbs this year, either!