A CHRISTMAS PRESENT that didn’t seem to want to celebrate then or even well into late winter is now making quite a spectacle in my living room. Hippeastrum ‘Supreme Garden’ (common name: amaryllis) has been in full bloom for nearly three weeks, after looking for months like it wouldn’t even break dormancy.
Generous Andrew and Bob, who got ‘Supreme Garden’ at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, potted three in a terra cotta pot and shared it in December. The bulbs are not as big as those of classic red amaryllis like ‘Red Lion,’ and neither are the individual flowers. But each of my bulbs finally awoke and pushed up two flowers, and each in turn holds six flowers. Do the math: That’s 3 times 2 times 6, or 36 flowers. So far ‘Supreme Garden’ has been at it for nearly two weeks, with signs of fading just beginning.
I’ll cut down the flower stems when the blooms finish, then grow the plants outdoors in bright filtered light all summer, feeding and watering like I do my other houseplants. In fall I’ll withhold water and put the bulbs, pot and all, in a closet somewhere to really force it to rest. Not that ‘Supreme Garden’ seems disinclined to take a long winter’s nap. Perhaps six or eight weeks later (meaning when I remember) I’ll take it out, top up the soil if needed, and water once, then place the plants in a bright spot until it wants to grow.
No trying to coax an amaryllis with repeat waterings, which can rot the bulb. Wait a few weeks or a month before trying again, and once a shoot of some kind appears, begin to water regularly.