Sometimes plants surprise me. It surprises me that this ‘Sweet Nymph’ amaryllis is blooming.Why? Because I didn’t follow any of the “rules” for getting an amaryllis to re-bloom. I did not put it (or my other amaryllises) in a closet in mid-August or early September. Why would I, when the plants were growing lushly? I am pretty sure I didn’t fertilize it, either. At least, not regularly. I probably did withhold water, but not purposefully. I seem to remember a period of time when “water houseplants” was on my list for several weeks without getting done. Let’s call it benign neglect. At any rate, I didn’t try to get it to bloom, and there it is, blooming. Not only blooming, but five flowers on the first stalk and a second stalk coming right along. Sometimes you luck out and an especially cooperative and obliging plant comes into your life. A few years ago, when my mom was getting ready to move, she handed me a withered Christmas cactus and asked me if I wanted it. It had been an impulse grocery store purchase around the holidays and–well, it’s not too hard to figure out where my tendency to benign neglect comes from. It’s the first Christmas cactus to start blooming every winter. It always has a second flush of bloom, and right now I see signs of a third flush starting. It’s in a cache pot, and I cringe every time I see what a small pot is inside that cache pot. Meanwhile, my other Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti–which get the same care–are struggling. Go figure.
More stuff blooming
My efforts to force hyacinths this year have met with mixed success.Last winter our basement didn’t get cold enough to properly chill the bulbs, so this year I put them in a spare refrigerator (similar to this) that someone had given my son. Well, there’s a reason that fridge was given away. Even at its warmest setting, it was dipping below freezing. (I know this because I used one of my spare temperature sensors from my Acurite weather station; ditto for the basement temps.) Quite a few of the bulbs got moldy, and the ones that are growing aren’t putting out many roots. And, as it turns out, the basement is sufficiently cold this winter and I didn’t need to put them in the refrigerator after all. I don’t blame the bulb seller. Dee Nash uses the same Exhibition and Forcing Collection from Scheepers/VanEngelen and doesn’t have any problems. And the hyacinths that I have forced successfully have really full flower heads. I will be buying these same bulbs next year. The florist’s cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) isn’t hardy here, but there are other cyclamens that are. I’m going to try to get this to rebloom next year.
Waiting in the wingsI think it’s supposed to be a Thanksgiving cactus. Whatever. I am more in need of bloom now. And–this is really a stretch–I have some seeds that I’ve wintersown.
Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens. Check it out at May Dreams Gardens.
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