Saturday, October 25, 2008

Symphony Amaryllis

Amaryllis' (spp) long stalk
Amaryllis' (spp) first bud
Amaryllis (spp) double bud

Amaryllis (spp) double bloom

Amaryllis (spp) close up

According to my gardening manual, A South African Garden for all Seasons by Readers Digest, the Amryllis Lily (Hippeastrum spp), pictured above, can be grown out in the garden. I’ve decided not to chance it with our frosty winters. In any case, I have more than enough [to do] in my garden and also because my beloved house-lady, Emily loves indoor plants, I have a selection of potted plants throughout my home.

The beautiful bloom above should have flowered by the twentieth of September but didn't. On closer inspection of the plant two weeks ago, I realised why it hadn’t. It had two stalks growing out of the soil, it had become pot bound and the leaves were limp and yellowing.

Emily and I carried the huge pot outside and placed it on the patio. While Emily returned indoors to continue her work, I called one of my gardeners to come and help me. We carefully loosened the stalks from the soil and then, tipping the pot on its side, gently tugged and eased the plants out. Once out on the ground, we separated the stalks and cut off all the old leaves. Then in newly-prepared pots, we potted the two “new” bulbs. We watered both plants and placed them against the wall of the house to rest.

A few hours later, when the excess water had drained off, my gardener and I carried the pots back into the house. We placed them on a counter in my office where they would get enough light but no direct sunlight.

Within two days my husband pointed out that one of the plants had begun to sprout. A week later it had grown to 30cm (12 inches). Two weeks later it had risen 60cm (25 inches) and had two buds on it. Last night the buds began to unfurl. This morning when I arrived in my office, the beautiful blooms had burst open with the promise of two more flowers in the next two days.
Imagine Emily's delight as she walked into the house on Wednesday morning and saw her plant flowering. She was elated and said it had made her day...


  1. Oh Jo, how wonderful that you managed to 'save' the Amaryllis - & look how you were rewarded ! I love the series of photo's you took of it, too. I have many Amaryllis in my garden - all the same species - but different to yours. Mine have larger flowers which are all white with a little pink inside. I'll have to send you a photo so that you can help me to identify it ! They are all in bloom at the moment, and they survive the cold Winter month's here & bloom in the Spring - they are a delight to behold ...

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment today. I wonder if I'd be able to identify your Amararyllis;) I read somewhere that this plant is indigenous but nowhere in my gardening books can I find confirmation of this. Nevertheless, there are FOUR glorious blooms on this one plant - I almost did another post on it but had second thoughts. Hugs Jo xxx

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