Macro Monday: Amaryllis Opening

I know a lot of people regard poinsettias as the quintessential Christmas plant, but for me it’s the amaryllis. I remember growing them years ago, when there were only a few varieties to choose from. They were often just sold by color, with red being a common favorite. These days there are probably hundreds to choose from. I got my bulbs from John Scheepers, and they had over 40 varieties this year.

Unlike spring flowering bulbs like daffodils or tulips, amaryllis don’t need to be “forced” into bloom for winter. They don’t need a cold treatment at all, but they do need a rest period each year. Give them plenty of light and room temperatures and most varieties will bloom within 6-12 weeks after being planted.

I potted up my new amaryllis bulbs in early November. I kept them under grow lights that were on 12 hours a day. I watered them when I first planted them, then waited until they showed signs of growth before watering again.

A few weeks ago, the amaryllis looked like this, with fat flower buds peeking out of the bulb. They stayed this way for about a week.

amaryllis1

Then all of a sudden, they started to shoot up towards the light, and began to open. At first, they showed just the promise of what was to come.

amaryllis2

Then in another few days, each bud began to open. The true colors were now visible, though the pollen was yet to ripen on the anthers.

amaryllis3

And finally, the flower revealed itself in all its glory. This is a miniature variety named Amalfi, with smaller bulbs than regular amaryllis, but there’s nothing miniature about the flowers!

Amalfi amaryllis

Amalfi amaryllis

I really like the way the green throat contrasts with the bright rose-colored petals of this variety. It reminds me of spring, even though it’s not even officially winter yet!

amaryllis4

After flowering I’ll cut the flower stalk and let the foliage grow through next spring and summer, giving them lots of sunshine. In early fall, I’ll stop watering and give the bulbs a chance to rest for a month or so. Then I’ll cut the foliage back to within an inch of the bulb, give them a little top-dressing of new soil and wait for the show to begin anew.

To see more close ups and macro photography, visit Macro Monday. Or submit your own photos and join in the fun at Lisa’s Chaos.

Macro Monday at Lisa's Chaos

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12 Responses to Macro Monday: Amaryllis Opening

  1. Very nicely done. Flowers make the very best macros of all.

  2. Birgitta says:

    Great photos of this beautiful amaryllis! Good work!

  3. We haven’t had one of these beauties in years. Now I want one. Thanks for the well written and well imaged post.

  4. I have always considered growing Amaryllis. Yours is beautiful!

  5. Jill says:

    fantastic series! these are really beautiful photos, great post all around 🙂

  6. Tammie says:

    this is a wonderful post, the flowers are lovely, and the info is wonderful. I can see you have a relationship with this lovely plant.

  7. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I haven’t had one of these in years and will need to try again. Wasn’t so successful with the rest period. I also love paper whites around Christmas time. And poinsettias and … OK, I’ll stop.

    • Villager says:

      Getting the amaryllis to bloom again can be tricky! Sometimes it takes another year to get them back up to blooming size. Some friends plant theirs out in the ground for the summer, then dig them up and repot in fall. I’m going to try that with one or two of mine next year.

  8. Jay says:

    I love amaryllises! I have a white one which has just faded – it started out too early this year and I have no idea why! Thanks for the tips on growing and resting ready for next year. I’ll have to jot that down so I remember what to do, and when!

    Love the pink and green flower on yours. I must look out for a different one this year.

  9. lisaschaos says:

    Wow, what fun! I have wanted to try my hand at one, but never had. I love the touch of yellow in the middle of the bloom. Very pretty!

  10. Becky says:

    I have an amaryllis that is eight years old. I’m a big wimp when it comes to cutting back healthy plants so I let the leaves stay green and cut it back and put it in the basement to rest when most the leaves die back. I bring it back out again when the bud begins to emerge. This works, but the plant blooms when it wants to and this year that’s not at Christmas. The leaves are still green and healthy.

    • Villager says:

      They do tend to have a mind of their own when it comes to reblooming. I was late in cutting mine back this year so they will likely be blooming in January and February, but that will be nice too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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