Thursday, January 24, 2008

Amaryllis

I have 3 amaryllis plants. Well, at this point, they're mostly just bulbs. After they've spent the summer outside, I bring them in and put them in a dark corner of the basement till mid-winter. Then I bring them upstairs, water them and watch them take off and grow. Within a few short weeks, they have HUGE, beautiful flowers. If you've never seen an amaryllis, you'll be amazed by them. Actually, I am somewhat amazed every year, even though I know what to expect! I love them!

I brought the bulbs up from the basement today. This first amaryllis is my most recent one. This will be its 3rd winter of blooming for me. You can see it's ready to grow... the little white triangle peeking out is the flower stalk pushing its way up. Checking out the soil is my assistant, Willow. ;-)

This next one is my oldest amaryllis. There's an interesting story behind this one. My mother-in-law got it for me for Christmas in 1979!! Yeah, a lot of years ago, but that's not the interesting part. She called me one day a few weeks after Christmas and asked me how it was doing. I said, "Huh?" I had no idea what she was talking about. It turns out she had put it under the bed in the spare bedroom where it was cool, to prevent it from growing too soon, and she'd forgotten to get it out and put it under the tree at Christmas! I hope she doesn't mind my telling on her here on the internet. Nah, she won't... she's a good sport... and we still get a good laugh about it whenever we talk about amaryllis plants. :-)

I've had many years of enjoyment from this bulb... it's bloomed every single year except one, when I had kept it in the house the summer before instead of setting it outside (a lesson learned there). It's even survived being chewed on by a dog one year! So thanks again, Dee... it's been one of my best Christmas gifts ever from you!

If you look carefully, you can see 3 growing points on this one. The front one is the flower stalk, and the 2 with green tips behind that are leaves. They get very long, narrow leaves. Usually just the flower stalk comes by itself first, and I've noticed that when the leaves do appear at the same time, the flower stalk grows slower. Again, my assistant... examining closely.

This last amaryllis has gotten a head start on me. This will be its 4th bloom for me, and it is always the first one to begin growing. I obviously didn't get it out of the basement soon enough! It's rather pale, because it was growing in nearly total darkness, but it'll green up fast as it gets sunlight. My assistant thinks it needs watering, too.

Because my assistant is a little over-zealous in caring for them (or tasting them), I can't put them where she can get at them, so for now they're in a basement window. It's a little cool, so they'll grow more slowly, but they'll get lots of sunshine. Here they are, for comparison purposes:

Do check back to see their progress! I'll probably post new pics weekly.

3 comments:

Jess said...

Give my love to your assistant.

Grandma G said...

I did. She says she loves you, too, as demonstrated by her climb to your shoulders when you were here. :-)

Courtney sends a "hi", too, 'cause she's here again. So I have lots of help today. :-)

kmpstamper said...

I love amarylis' too. I'm never very good at getting them to survive after they bloom, though. I especially enjoyed watching them grow when working in the office setting. In the morning, I'd stick a pushpin in my cubical wall at the current height, and by quitting time it had grown an inch or two. It would grow 3-5 inches overnight. It was fun to see how much it grew each day over the course of a week. Thanks for reminding me how much fun it is.