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  • Writer's pictureJan Peterson

The Queen of the Holiday - Amaryllis

Long after the poinsettias have withered and died, chances are the amaryllis are still showing their glorious blooms. Amaryllis comes from the Greek work "amarysso,” which means “to sparkle", which is fitting for this extraordinary plant.

They are so easy to care for and will keep re-blooming given the proper care. Just plant the bulb in a good potting soil, water regularly and provide bright, indirect light. A support stake is recommended for keeping the blooms upright, but little else is required. Most varieties will begin blooming six to eight weeks after planting; some can take as long as ten weeks.

Once the bloom is spent and the leaves have yellowed, it has to remain dormant to re-bloom. Cut the plant off at about an inch above the bulb. Move the plant to a cool, dark place with temperatures between 55-60 degrees. I store mine in my basement in a paper bag. The bulb will need at least 8-10 weeks of rest. After the rest period, move it to a warm (70 degrees) , sunny spot and water thoroughly. After about 8-10 weeks, it should begin to bloom again.

There are so many varieties to choose from: Reds - "Ferrari", "Carmen", and "Happy Nymph", Bi-colors - "Clown", and "Dancing Queen"; Whites - "Matterhorn", "White Amadeus" and "Mont Blanc", as well as other varieties of pinks and salmons. It's hard to pick the one with the most sparkle.

“I care not for these ladies, That must be wooed and prayed; Give me kind Amaryllis, The wanton country maid. nature art disdaineth; Her beauty is her own.”

Thomas Campion

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