How To Fight The Winter Blues: Pot Up Some Amaryllis

– Posted in: How-to, Plant info
11 comments

I do sometimes wonder if gardening is an addiction. If so, I had a very abrupt withdrawal this year. One day, 55F and sunny, the next day, BAM! cold enough to snow. And every day it got colder and colder. Time for some hort therapy. And–I don’t know about you–but many indoors plants just don’t cut it. They are too static to be therapeutic; they hardly change. It’s not their fault winter is their dormant season. But I want to see something grow.

large amaryllis bulb from Longfield Gardens

Look at the size of this amaryllis bulb from Longfield Gardens! Woo!

So, when Longfield Gardens asked if I’d like to try some of their double amaryllis, I said yes! Once an amaryllis gets started, it doesn’t waste any time, so it’s a perfect way to beat the winter blues. It’s really not hard to pot one up yourself instead of buying one of those kits, and you can get much better quality and variety when you order online.
one amaryllis bulb from Longfield Gardens in pot

You don’t need a lot of room around the sides of the pot, but the container should be deep enough to contain all the roots and most of the bulb.

I use a good quality potting soil and on the basis of Matt Mattus’ advice added some grit this time. (Matt has a really informative post on amaryllis. You should read it.) Amaryllis can get really top-heavy so you want a container big enough to balance out those huge blossoms. I was trying for containers that would fit on the window sill. Also, I inserted some slender bamboo sticks in the pots hoping to eventually wrap twine around them, as my friend Dee did here. (I need to scrounge up some more sticks before I get the twine tied on.)
Here's what the amaryllis bulbs looked like when I was done potting them up.

Here’s what they looked like when I was done potting them up.

amaryllis bulbs two weeks after planting

Here’s what they looked like two weeks later. Can you see the fat flower buds?

Here’s what they’ll look like eventually:
cherry nymph amaryllis from Longfield Gardens

Cherry Nymph (photo courtesy Longfield Gardens)

Sweet Nymph amaryllis from Longfield Gardens

Sweet Nymph (photo courtesy Longfield Gardens)

White Nymph amaryllis from Longfield Gardens

White Nymph (Photo courtesy Longfield Gardens)

I can hardly wait until they bloom!

Amaryllis Giveaways

I’m not giving away an amaryllis, but I know some folks who are. Dee, Robin, and Kylee are each giving away a ‘Red Lion’ amaryllis and some Moo Poo tea bags. Their giveaway ends November 30, 2014, and they each include plenty of tips on growing amaryllis. Julie is also giving away Moo Poo tea and some seeds, as well as an amaryllis bulb. Her giveaway also ends on November 30th. (That’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving.) If you’ve been looking for a way to keep gardening through the winter, now you know how! Beat the winter blues!

Longfield Gardens provided the three amaryllis bulbs used in this post. Thank you so much!

About the Author

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.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Frank November 26, 2014, 10:29 am

Those are some nice bulbs!
I have a few I grow on each year, but usually don’t get around to “waking them up” until it’s warm enough to put them outside (I just don’t have the room inside). Even in April the blooms are welcome!
One of these days I’ll give the doubles a try. I’m not always a fan of double flowers, but these might be worth it.

Carol November 25, 2014, 5:17 pm

I love amaryllis and have to grow some every winter1

Anna November 25, 2014, 4:29 pm

Your amaryllis varieties are lovely! Beauties. I should add one or two to my collection here of grocery store and Menards gifted red ones. I’ve had them perpetually going for me for years now. I force them like this in the winter, then I set them out in a big pot as just spikes of foliage and there they live until they die back in the summer. Then I toss the bulbs back in storage and force them again in the winter. I have 5 of them that I’ve been doing this for about 4 years now. I add a new one and toss one here and there. The color is so welcome, even the green foliage during the winter.

Poppy Jones November 25, 2014, 7:16 am

Thank you, Kathy for the lovely post! I think I’m going to grow an amaryllis this winter! (And I hope my avocado will survive…I started to grow it a couple fo months ago and it doesn’t look like a winter kind of plant :(( ) Good luck with your amaryllis!

Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern November 23, 2014, 6:11 pm

I love this post and I just read all about Moo poo tea – sign me up! I am partial to the White Amaryllis (and White Poinsettias, and Paper Whites). I am sure you will share these blooms with us? I have a wonderful Amaryllis bulb but I have not been good about storing or resting it. Since I am migrating for three months, I think I am going to cut it off and not water. If I’m not here, I won’t water! When I return I’ll give it love, love, love and we’ll see … it will ease my transition.

Tom Trook November 23, 2014, 6:55 am

could you send an Amaryllis?

Kathy Purdy November 23, 2014, 9:42 am

No, Tom, you have to go to one of the websites I linked to, jump through the hoops they’ve arranged and hope your number comes up. Sorry.

Dee Nash November 22, 2014, 11:15 am

Kathy, thanks for the link love. I hope you enjoy your amaryllis. I think those nymph varieties are dward so they may not need very tall stakes. ~~Dee

Kathy Purdy November 22, 2014, 11:50 am

Dee, I didn’t even look at the height description. I just remembered other varieties falling over, so I thought it was good to be prepared.

Jane Rutkowski November 22, 2014, 7:33 am

Hi Kathy,
Yep, definately amaryllis time. My luck hasn’t been good with them (my most recent blogs say it all) but I’m determined this year to have blooming amaryllis for Christmas. I remember my mom had one many years ago, a gift from someone. It was on the top of a shelf in the kitchen and was just beautiful! I’m determined!
Janie

Donna@GardensEyeView November 22, 2014, 4:29 am

I have mine ready to go once I get back from visiting family over the holiday, but I need to brew my Moo Poo…I love the colors of yours especially the white one Kathy.