Still Life: Amaryllis and Blogger

by Kathy Purdy on March 26, 2013 · 18 comments

in What's up/blooming

large flowered amaryllis and middle aged woman

Look, Ma! It bloomed!

The amaryllis that was in bud in mid-March is now in full, glorious bloom, and I can’t remember ever growing one with such large blossoms. Just for fun, my husband had me pose with it, to give a sense of scale to the flowers. And just for fun, I thought I’d share it with you.

Amaryllis never seem to grow for me in the textbook fashion. This particular one was purchased from a big box store in November 2011. It grew a lot of leaves, but never bloomed. I potted it on in the spring, which encouraged it to grow more leaves. And I think it finally went dormant last November, about a year after it came home with me. I figured I wouldn’t see it again for another year.

But I was wrong. About Christmas it started showing signs of life. I would rather have it blooming at Christmas. Amaryllis often bloom for me when the crocus are blooming, which is why I go hot and cold on them. I want blooming plants indoors when I have none outdoors. But, as it turns out, the crocus aren’t blooming yet. And my amaryllis is.


Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy's been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Garden math has always seemed a bit like using MapQuest to find Nirvana.
Barbara Damrosch, April 13, 2006 Washington Post

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Donalyn April 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

It is quite something and I love the photo your husband took of you :)


Nelson April 1, 2013 at 1:47 am

WOW!! Amazing indeed. It is as huge as your head.


Jason March 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm

That is a huge bloom – bigger than your head! There used to be a place near here that advertised a burrito bigger than your head, but this is prettier.


debra March 27, 2013 at 9:29 am

I have never applied myself to the discipline that it takes to coax an amaryllis to re-bloom, Kathy! You have accomplished an amazing feat~! Patience (begign neglect?), indirect light and – voila!
congrats- and I LOVE the photo of you with your blooms!


Marcia Brown Meigs March 27, 2013 at 11:53 am

Kathy, A lovely photo, you should use it on your site. The Amaryllis brings out your lovely peach tones.
I love amaryllis anytime. One year I planted a bunch of smallies, languishing in the debris in the basement, into a border. Low and behold half of them threw out blooms. I used some as cut flowers and enjoyed the smashing, in your face, beauty of the others, even if some did look out of place.
I set most of the winter blooming ones in the veggie garden along the outside edges of the raised frames so they benefit from the watering. When I think of it they get a sprinkle of Osmocote, having had a good pinch in their planting holes. I could not believe how big the bulbs ended up.
Today is lovely outside as the galanthus can be seen well in all their glory. I am grateful that most have not started to go over. Now if only the bees would show up.


Kathy Purdy March 27, 2013 at 11:57 am

I read an article in Fine Gardening a long time ago where the author put her amaryllis in the vegetable garden. Just like any other bulb, the leaves and roots feed the bulb, and bona fide sunshine and fertile soil plump up a bulb better than soilless potting mix and a windowsill. I tried it one year, and the leaves were unmercifully chewed by slugs or earwigs–maybe both–and at least one got smashed by a soccer ball. So, either way, there are certain risks and certain advantages.


Kathy Purdy March 27, 2013 at 11:58 am

This was not re-bloom, but the first bloom. Yes, I would have to credit benign neglect most of all. Glad you like the photo.


Becky March 27, 2013 at 7:37 am

Wow! This is a big and beautiful flower. The two of you look great together. As far as the still life goes spring is quickly taking care of that! I saw my first bluebird today!


Frances March 27, 2013 at 6:54 am

Lovely, both the flower and the human flower!


Carol - May Dreams Gardens March 27, 2013 at 6:19 am

Good things come to those who wait.


Rodrica March 27, 2013 at 3:51 am

Love the photo. Try sending your amaryllis into dormancy early. I get mine into the basement by September 1st after a summer outdoors getting fertilized. Bring them up into the light and water them once and they will send up bud stalks when they are good and ready. At least they brighten up January, February and March here in Vermont. I’m with you; who needs amaryllis in April?


Kathy Purdy March 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

Do you mean you put it in the basement while it still has green leaves? Do you cut the leaves off, or just let them wither?


Charlie March 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm

It is quite beautiful, and yes, I really appreciate elements in the picture that help me estimate scale. Thank you for share such a gorgeous picture.


Julie Bawden-Davis March 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Magnificent! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with such a big blossom either!


Nell Jean March 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm

It is lovely. Is it fragrant? It looks like ‘Appleblossom’. You may get a secondary bloom stalk after this one, since it has grown on for so long. My new notion is to have Christmas Cactuses in their season and Amaryllis whenever they take that notion to bloom.

I’m glad you decided to share it.


Kathy Purdy March 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I remember choosing it because the box said it was fragrant. My kids can detect a fragrance, but I can’t. The box said the variety was ‘Angelique’ but it certainly could have been mislabeled. An amaryllis expert would know, but I am no expert.


Gail March 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm



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