With this warm weather (it must be over 50 degrees today), the wild rose hips are still in good condition. Down coats and plastic bags will not survive this foraging. I speak from experience. Gloves are a must, the thicker the better. The amaryllis I planted last month is at it’s prettiest and the paperwhites are not far behind. I love watching them at every stage, from the first emergence to the pristine white flowers beginning their papery end.
Amaryllis may be planted indoors from October through March and should bloom within six to twelve weeks.With one bulb per 6″ pot (a pot about 1″ larger in diameter the bulb), amaryllis should be planted in sterile potting soil in a pot with a drainage hole. The soil should cover three-quarters of the bulb with one-quarter of the bulb and the whole stalk exposed above the soil. Press the soil firmly around the bulb to prevent the plant from toppling over when in bloom. Water lightly and place in direct sunlight at room temperature. To help your amaryllis pop out of dormancy more quickly, you may give the pots a bit of bottom heat. As the bud begins to flower, gradually increase the amount of water. You will likely be rewarded with multiple stalks of huge flowers! To hold amaryllis from year to year, cut the flower stalk off after it has bloomed and permit the foliage to continue growing. Stop watering the plant in mid-July. In mid-October, cut back the dead foliage and give the plant a drink to begin the process again.
Invariably, the amaryllis leaves that have to be cared for month after month begin to irritate me. Despite trying to conceal them amongst other plants in my sunny window, they remain the elephant in the room. Maybe if they were in my dream garden room surrounded by 100 plants they wouldn’t seem so… well… annoying in their spear-like shape and lack of interest. Next year I’ll try a larger pot with a cluster of three bulbs and see if that adds a little more interest after blooming.
Hope you are all snug and warm for the holidays.