Winter has hit hard here in Iowa. The landscape is white and barren with snow drifts so deep we’ll be driving around them until spring. The garden catalogs are coming and we’re all craving a little color! My mom shares one way to find some…
Our daughter keeps a collection of Amaryllis bulbs over each year, and she has shared one with me. The blooms are so majestic – which is especially welcome when the winter snow is lingering.
It is like watching creation to see the green leaves sprout from a round brown ball!
To keep your own Amaryllis , clip the blooms when they fade and keep watering it. Clip the stalk back as it browns and plant the bulb in the garden as soon as all danger of frost is past. Keep fertilizing it all summer.
In the fall dig up the bulb and place it in a pail with no soil. Keep it in a cool place and let it dry out for 60 days.
Clip off any foliage before you plant the bulb in a container. Amaryllis like to be crowded, so only put the bottom few inches in the soil in a pot without a drain hole. Water about once a week until you see green emerging, then water as needed.
Place near a window with plenty of light.
The first green will be leaves, but watch for another growth beside the leaves–this is the bud. You can fertilize at this time, my sister-in-law does, but my daughter does not and they both blossoms.
The leaves and bud stalk can grow up to 30 inches high and will need to be supported with a dowel and a yarn tie. (I’ve even used one of my wooden spoons!)
The bigger bulbs have blossoms. Sometimes you will find some “baby” bulbs growing on the bigger bulb in the garden. We are experimenting with them, but it will take several years before the “babies” are large enough to bloom!