Plant of the Month – Amaryllis
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There are many ways to make your home more inviting for the holidays, including the usual Christmas lights, trees, wreaths and ornaments. However, if you gardeners want to really dazzle your guests this year, show them a display of bold and beautiful amaryllis blooms.
Amaryllis are the easiest to bring to bloom and grow among the holiday plants. And with flowers that can reach as large as 10″ across, Amaryllis will give you an exotic alternative to the traditional Poinsettia or Paper-White bulbs. Garden Centers usually start stocking the bulbs in the fall. Pick them up right away and get planting them, because they take 6-7 weeks to push out their fabulous blooms or if you are in a hurry, some nurseries have them planted and already about to bloom.
The amaryllis originated in South America’s tropical regions and has the botanical name Hippeastrum. Their flower colors go from white to deep red and include some eye-catching stripped varieties. You can expect your Amaryllis to bloom 7-10 weeks and can be grown easily indoors in a pot with soil around the base or sitting on a vase without holes with only it’s roots submerged in water.
The nice thing about amaryllis is you can get a repeat bloom from them the following year. Unlike poinsettias, which quite frankly, can be kind of a pain to force the following year, amaryllis are fairly simple to get to re-bloom the following year.