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By stu


Last year my wife was given an Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulb which had been bought for her from a well known high street store. I won’t mention the name of the store by name but their initials are M & S ! !

Instructions as to how to pot it up etc. were included. However, the instructions ended with the words, “When the plant has finished flowering discard the bulb”. This seemed ridiculous to me so – putting my Victor Meldrew hat on – I wrote a grumpy letter to their head office asking why the bulb should be discarded. The answer I got from them was something like . . . . most people would not know what to do with the bulb once flowering is finished. Do they think people are stupid.

I certainly did not think of throwing such a large bulb away without first trying to keep it and trying to get it to flower again.

I found some – very simple – information as to what to do and one year later it is in flower again !

So . . . . if anyone is interested these are the instructions we followed.

“By early summer, a bulb which flowered in the winter is ready to take a rest. Stop watering and allow the foliage to die down. Keep dry and leave for three months. In October, remove the bulb from its pot (I cut all the roots off too) and place it in the airing cupboard. When the new shoot appears, pot it up and water it”.

Not exactly rocket science ! !

So M & S, perhaps you should include this information in the instructions in future or perhaps you don’t want people know what to do . . . . so you will sell more !

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hi Stu, yes i quite agree - it is unusal that you were not given instructions as to how to over winter this bulb - speaking as a working florist we sell lots of these in the shop i work and we always give the same care instuctions that you have said. - and you are right not rocket science! but then that is the type of uninformed comments you can expect to get from the many high street chains that are tying to muscle in on our bussiness and know nothing about it! need i say more - tesco, sainsburys, asda ect ect....... lol - best go to a florist or garden centre next time stu ! lol

29 Dec, 2007


I had a beautiful double Amaryllis last year, with two flower spikes. I kept it for this year and though it only had one this year, it was well worth keeping. This one came from Thompson & Morgan and DID have instructions with it. You are quite right about Supermarket purchases, they don't help and I suspect don't want to! Well, it would hurt their trade, wouldn't it?

29 Dec, 2007


Hi Stu! I, like others, suspect that the supermarkets and chain stores tell us to throw these away so we buy new ones next season. I suggest typing "amaryllis" in the search box on this site, click on "questions" and look at the replies to ned's question, which suggests refidgerating bulbs for a while, as opposed to putting them in an airing cupboard. It is the same with hyacinths, etc, with same "discard" instructions. I always plant these out in the garden later, and they are still cloming up every year!. These stores are not as green as they claim to be! A very Happy New Year to you and yours!

29 Dec, 2007


Hi Stu

I have been growing Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs for a number of years and have several on the go at the moment. I am like you I don't thow them away but pop them in the greenhouse water occasionally, let them dry out Aug/July then set them going end of October/November. I also give then a seaweed liquid feed. They are far to expensive to throw away and I have quite a collection. I get my large bulbs from the European market in Manchester at Christmas time 2 for £5 and use them as Christmas present with the correct instructions.

There was a really good article on them in Gardeners world a couple of Christmas's back.

Happy New Year


1 Jan, 2008


lol Of course they will tell you to throw away, cause most people now a days are stupid as they know you will go back again if it flowered well, as to get more money from us, like the out of date,dates on our food which is rubbish as we never had this years ago and we have more people now getting food poisioning than ever . A radio program asked for people to look in their fridge or cupboard to see what is the longest out of date food item they have , a man answered he has jam which is out of date 15 yrs ago and he opened it last week and has eaten it . another was coffee 10 yrs out of date and they drank it no other man had tomatoes which was out of date 3 weeks so he fried them like my mum use to , the reason a lot of foods go off so quick nowadays is because of the wrapping not letting the food breathe like bread.

30 Jun, 2009


Well said, Morgana!

We probably buy our Spring bulbs in Autumn, plant them, see them flower, thend dig them up and throw away, because they get in the way, and the dying leaves look ugly - so much easier to throw away and buy new ones again in September, when you can always add them to your supermarket trolley again.

I've decided not to, as I had to search for what I wanted. As I garden wholly in containers, I have found it easier now to place these away in a quiet corner, allowing the bulbs to rest and grow.

With food, of course, your Mum did right! Heat is the important factor to consider, when preparing foodstuffs past their "sell by" dates. Think of alternative ways of preparing meals when using leftovers/ingredients past their "sell-by" dates (yes,I don't believe half of them).

I use late-night supermarket reductions most nights, and can feed 5 people a 3-courseSunday dinner for £5 - £6, by proper storage or immediate cooking.

Also, there is the almost heavenly pastime of growing-your-own, which has seen a massive resurgence, and one which we enjoy.

My Christmas Amaryllis are currently undergoing necessary care, and looking forward to seeing them again!

30 Jun, 2009


Just like to add that you should wait till autumn before resting them. They recharge during spring and summer and allowing them the extra time gives them to fatten up and create more flowering stalks.

I wouldn't remove all roots, leave some fleshy roots as new roots will grow from them when you replant them. They flower better if they are rooted so if you cut them off, when they are flowering they will not have developed any roots yet.

Telling people to throw them away is probably better from their point of view, that means people buy more but for most people trying to flower them again might be too difficult and just means more after sales work for M&S.

11 Dec, 2013

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