Amaryllis, known as the Christmas flower, can be planted to flower almost exactly as desired. This is because they typically bloom around 5 weeks after being planted (during the warmer months). For this reason, Amaryllis make a wonderful gift at Christmas time. They can also make effective centrepieces for the Christmas dinner table.
South Africa grows some of the best Amaryllis in the world. Our warmer climate allows for effective growth outdoors in the garden. For an effective, eye-catching outdoor ensemble, group them together in threes. Give them a position that allows them to be the centre of attention, they most definitely rise to occasion superbly.
Amaryllis do well in most soil types, provided they get adequate drainage. They do love a little compost too, but ensure that the compost does not contain any fresh manure – this will burn your bulbs. For good measure, space the time between composting and planting apart by a few weeks. Building on the idea of giving Amaryllis the spotlight, make sure they are placed in a sunny area. For the best results, give your Amaryllis some bulb food every two weeks. As they retreat into dormancy at the end of the warmer months, you can decrease watering and leave them in the soil throughout the various seasons. Do not cease to water them until all of their foliage has receded. They can be thinned out every three years.
Amaryllis – The timed bloom
To manipulate your Amaryllis to flower when you want them to, simply refrigerate them. Take note that they need to be in a perforated paper bag to keep them free from food and contaminants. Ensure that they remain at approximately 5 degrees, and not colder than that. This will pull the bulbs into a state of winter dormancy. Thereafter, the bulbs can be potted. You can expect to see flowers within 5 to 6 weeks. This tactic can be applied to achieve Christmas blooms in December, or birthday blooms at any time of the year.
Creating the perfect potted Amaryllis for Christmas
At Christmas time we typically see green, red, and white in the decor. Pot at least three bulbs together for the best effect, and use a pot with enough room for a few other decorations. Adding sprigs of holly with berries around the rim of the pot will complement the green and red and in the blooms. Small white tea candles can be placed, evenly spaced around the perimeter of the pot too. Arrange everything decoratively, allowing the lovely Amaryllis flowers to stretch over the rest.
To order your Amaryllis bulbs in time for Christmas flowering, hurry. We still have stock available, but planting time is running out: https://www.hadeco.co.za/summer-bulb/hippeastrum-amaryllis