Just after Christmas I was in ASDA when they were selling off the last of the plants they had left after the festive season. They had Amaryllis bulbs that they were selling off for 10p each. I bought one of each colour. They have been a great bargain, blooming beautifully. The third, Amaryllis Minerva, has flowers today. Here’s some pictures of it.
A few weeks ago, just after Christmas, ASDA was having a sale of all the Christmas plants that hadn’t found a home before the great day. Among them were some Amaryllis bulbs that had been on sale for £4, intended to be given away as presents. If you had bought one at the end of November it might have flowered on Christmas Day. They were selling them off for a bargain 10p! I bought three. The first, an Amaryllis Apple Blossom, has just bloomed. You can see from the colour of its spectacular flowers, how it got its name. So much pleasure for only 10p and if I look after it, it might come back again next year. But we’ve more than had my money’s worth out of it. And there are two more to come yet.
After the long, dark, wet winter we are having the first warm, sunny day of the year. A strange yellow thing has appeared in the sky and the newspapers and TV channels are doing that thing where they compare the temperature in Manchester with that of foreign places in sunny climes. Today we are warmer than Ibiza and Marbella in Spain and Crete in Greece.
There are butterflies in the garden but as soon as I was out there they disappeared. Now I’m back inside they are back out there! So I had to make do with some pictures of the pink peach blossom on the tree in our garden. We get plenty of blossom and lots of tiny peaches but the Manchester summer never allows them to develop into the luscious, juicy peaches you can buy. But at least we can enjoy the pink blossom. The pink looks great against the blue of the sky…
Meanwhile, inside, one of the Amaryllis bulbs we got from Dutch Plant Guy last year, has decided to shoot. About three weeks ago there was a tiny spear of green and this morning these two, huge, pink flowers had opened…
I’m pleased that I’ve been able to get this plant to flower so spectacularly for the third time. It’s the Amaryllis bulb that Grandma gave us for Christmas 2010. That year I planted it on Christmas day and a few weeks later it bloomed with this spectacular red flower. Well, it had two flowers that year.
The flowers then fade and you are left with the striking, long, green, strappy leaves but by September they begin to yellow. Once that happens you are supposed to stop watering the plant. I always get worried at that point but the plant doesn’t seem to mind. When a little green shoot appears you can start watering again. With this one it happens about Christmas time.
I managed to get it to flower last year but wondered if it would do it a third year. Well it has and here it is brightening up a grey January day in Manchester, safe on out kitchen windowsill. All its buds must be blooming all over the veldt in a South African summer where it comes from so this one must be very confused with a Manchester winter.
I’m glad I got it to flower again. I wonder if it will do it a fourth time?
I noticed that Dutch Plant Guy had some Amaryllis bulbs for sale like the one we were given at Christmas 2010. Not only had I been able to keep this bulb growing, I’d managed to get it to flower ~ TWICE! These ones were very reasonably priced at £1 each which will be a bargain if I can keep them going. So I got 2. My plan is to show how they develop over the next few months. They usually flower in the Spring and early Summer but these are being planted now so it will be interesting to see how they cope.
Here they are in St Ann’s Square. Some seemed to be growing already in no soil at all but I chose 2 that just had a little green tip showing which showed there was some life in them.
Here they are before I planted them. You can see how big and fat they are. If you are buying them they should be firm to the touch like these 2 are.
And here they are all planted up in their pots. They make big plants but they seem to be OK in smallish pots. I think they like to feel cramped around the roots to flower. So this is them on Day 1. I’m going to put them on a light window sill in the kitchen where they don’t get direct sunshine as that can make plants suffer when they are indoors. They can get too hot I think.
Click the Amaryllis tab to see how they develop.