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Amaryllis - April blooms


By balcony


Amaryllis – April blooms

Once again I have 3 Amaryllis plants flowering on the living room table! So far since the year began I’ve only gone about 2 weeks, if that even, without at least one bulb flowering on the table in our living room.

Amaryllis on living room table seen from where I sit at my computer!

Just today I brought 2 more plants into the living room. One came from our bedroom & the other from the kitchen. I took two that had finished flowering into the kitchen to put in the window a couple of days ago.

I still have a few more plants that have buds to bring in yet. So therefore I will have flowers into May – at least! Who knows if any more bulbs might flower before I take them down to the allotment in the middle of May.

In one of the pots I brought into the living room today I discovered another bud that is still only about 20-30cm high.

The bulbs that are flowering now are all different! The oldest of the 3 is mostly white with faint red stripes.

ALL of my Amaryllis are bulbs that I grew form seed I saved from bulbs I cross fertilized 7 or 8 years ago. The original bulbs were unnamed bulbs I bought in the 1st International Market held here in town for the first time in October 2001. I bought one pure white, one pure red & one red with white stripes. At first they each had individual pots but after a couple of years I planted the three bulbs altogether in one big pot. A couple of years later I decided to try fertilizing them to see if I could get viable seeds to grow my own bulbs.

Many years earlier I’d done the same in Spain. On that occasion the seeds never germinated. So I wasn’t overly convinced this time would be much different. I couldn’t have been more wrong! The seeds germinated like “Mustard & Cress”! I was embarrassed by the quantity that germinated! I ended up with at least 50 seedlings which flowered in their 4th year after sowing – that was 3 years ago! Now every year they flower & do it over a period of several months. I don’t do anything to “force” them to flower at a particular time – though I do know how to do it. I prefer them to flower when THEY are ready & not at Christmas for example.

A sister of mine was the one who started me down this road of growing Amaryllis back in 1982! She gave me a starter pack for Christmas 1981 which contained a bulb, a pot & saucer plus enough compost to plant the bulb up. I did so on Christmas Day 1981 & it flowered on February 26th 1982!

I was hooked! When we went to Spain later that year I took it with me & it loved the climate of Spain because it not only flowered profusely every year it also multiplied profusely as well! After a few years in Spain I bought a white Amaryllis & maybe a striped one, I’m not too sure about that though.

I haven’t gone a single year since that first bulb given to me by my sister without at least one, or more, of these lovely bulbs!

To cap it all a lady in the USA saw my flowers on another gardening forum I post on &, without consulting me first, sent me several tiny plastic bags with pollen from some of her own Amaryllis plants! I put some of the pollen on some of my plants that seemed to be ready for fertilizing to see if it might work. Several of the flowers were fertilized but only one plant ended up producing viable seeds. I sowed some of the seeds last year & sent the American lady some as well. I even sent a person in London some seeds. Those that were left over I sowed for myself!

Amaryllis: Anglo American seedlings in our kitchen:

I refer to them as Anglo-American hybrids! Many of the seeds germinated & now I have two seedtrays with 15 little square black pots in each with a tiny bulb resulting from the cross.

There are also about 5 other of these pots that wouldn’t fit in the trays. So now I have another 35 Amaryllis bulblets! These will need another three years to reach flowering size! What am I going to do for space???!!!

We have 3 windows with windowsills in our flat & all three of them have pots stacked up to three high in some cases!

Amaryllis in kitchen window middle of January:

Amaryllis in kitchen window seen from the outside middle of February:

That’s not too much of a problem during the winter when most of the leaves have died down & they don’t block out too much light but once they finish flowering the leaves grow very long & with so many plants in the windows they shut out a lot of light.

Amaryllis in our bedroom window seen from the inside:

About the middle of May I take them down to the allotment where they stay till the middle of October when I have to bring them home again. I’ve done this for the past 3 years & will do it again this year!

Amaryllis 1st year on the allotment 31st May 2010:

As I discovered when I dug them up in October to bring them back home it was a very bad idea to plant them where the Daffodils were as the Narcissus Fly laid its eggs on the Amaryllis & the grubs burrowed into the bulbs eating out their hearts.

Therefore in 2011 I left them in their pots & put them on a makeshift bench where they spent the entire summer & no Narcissus Fly bothered them!

I did a similar thing in 2012 only I also used these mini-greenhouses we have behind the greenhouse. Again no problems with the Narcissus Fly!

About the Middle of May I shall take all the plants down that have finished flowering for this year. They, too, will be kept far away from the Daffodils that are now beginning to flower outside Gerry’s shed on the allotment.

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Last look back at winter on the plots - in March!

Next post: Back from Spain - a 2nd time!



That's quite some achievement! I wonder if its a record?

Those white and red amaryllis are stunning!

8 Apr, 2013


Very interesting blog, your amarylis collection is amazing!

8 Apr, 2013


Brilliant blog so helpful, I am amazed how you manage to get so many in your kitchen window, so clever. I am still watering and feeding as per instructions, lol hoping to keep them alive for next season. I am sure they will be ok, they are looking good still very green and leafy. Thanks again for all your help and useful advice on the amaryllis Balcony. Lovely pictures too. :O)

9 Apr, 2013


Hi all & thanks for taking the time to comment on by blog! It's much appreciated! :-))

Thanks, Stiki, but I hardly imagine I have set or broken any records - at least not since I was little more than a toddler & broke many of Dad's LPs (78 rpms) LOL! But I don't think they are quite the records you were referring to!

Glad the flowers impress you so much! I, too, find them stunning!

Louisa, I'm glad you found the blog so interesting, I do try to make it more than just a "slide show"! Do you grow any of these lovely flowers?

Good to know you found the blog helpful, Oliveoil, as I've said on other occasions, I'm always willing to help where I can with my gardening knowledge. I can't promise to always know the answers but perhaps I can find out & help people out.

9 Apr, 2013


Im sure that counts too!

your blogs are very helpful, thanks again balcony!

9 Apr, 2013


I'm glad some people find them of interest & helpful, too! :-))

11 Apr, 2013


Hi Balcony, I am very intrigued by your Pics. I would love to know shat the next step is for the Amaryllis after the summer. I thought they were supposed to have a dark period? I have some (8) which I would like to rebloom. The leaves are gigantic as I suppose are the bulbs. Should I repot? I still keep watering a bit. Is that right? Thanks for answering my questions. I loved seeing your Amaryllis.
Nothing better than a blinding hobby or adventure!

17 May, 2013


Hi Wells. I'm pleased you like my Amaryllis! :-))

You should continue to water & feed them during the summer. Try to keep the soil in the pots damp but don't let the plants sit in a plate of water for long or it will rot. They have thick, fleshy roots which rot very easily. Feed them every week with a tomato or rose fertilizer according to the instructions on the bottle. This will ensure you get a nice fat bulb for the coming year.

They DON'T need a dark period but they do need some cold but not freezing! I stop watering my plants in the middle of September but the leaves do not necessarily die off completely. Some leaves may persist all winter. I only start to water my bulbs again once I notice the first signs of the developing bud way down in the neck of the bulbs, at the base of the leaves. This is usually late December early January but can vary with each individual bulb. As I have at least 50 pots with often several bulbs in each I only give water, only a little at first, increasing as the plants grow, to the bulb that is showing the tip of the bud in its neck.

My bulbs remain in the cool windows until the buds are showing colour before moving them into our living room where it is much warmer. As soon as the flowers go over they go back to the cool windowsills.

For your information/entertainment or to fill in a boring hour here is a list of all the blogs I've written in GoY about Amaryllis since I joined!

Hope you find them entertaining & useful!

20 May, 2013

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