The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Is this the way to Amaryllis? Simple steps to growing a traditiona­l Christmas favourite


If you started off bulbs at the beginning of November, then you should be looking forward to a glorious display of Amaryllis flowers in time for Christmas.

These beautiful and dramatic flowers add a touch of glamour to the festive season and, despite their exotic looks, they are actually quite simple to grow.

Most varieties take between seven and 10 weeks to flower, so those planted now won’t bloom until the new year, but that’s no reason not to grow them. Simply bury them two thirds deep in a pot that’s just slightly larger than the bulb itself and place them somewhere bright and warm.

Keep the compost moist but not sodden, taking care not to get the tip of the bulb wet, as this could cause it to rot.

Once it starts growing, water twice a week and feed fortnightl­y from when the flowers start to open.

It’s important to choose a heavy pot and to provide a cane to support the flower as Amaryllis become topheavy and most failures are caused by either the stem snapping or the container falling over.

Your blooms will last longer if you move them to a cooler spot once they start to flower, but if you want to enjoy them in the warmest room in the house, then place them somewhere cooler overnight.

Good quality bulbs should produce more than one flower spike, so snip off those that have finished flowering in order to allow the next spike to develop.

Finally, however, there will be no more blooms and when that happens, keep watering and feeding for six weeks and then move the pot to a cool room and allow it to go dormant for 10 weeks.

After that you can repot the bulb and restart the whole process and if you continue to treat your bulbs in this way then they should remain viable for many years. Over time you may want to add to your collection, choosing some of the many gorgeous varieties that are available, such as crimson Benfica, pink and white-striped Gervase or elegant Apple Blossom.

Heights vary, so mass them together for striking displays.

 ?? ?? ● Glorious, Christmass­y red amaryllis with a green eucalyptus branch in clay jug.
● Glorious, Christmass­y red amaryllis with a green eucalyptus branch in clay jug.

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