Friday, February 1, 2019

Last Year's Amaryllis

I'd heard it was possible to overwinter amaryllis so I decided to try. This is an Aphrodite amaryllis. When fully open, the blooms are ten inches in diameter. 

This is what I did to get a twofer out of last year's bulb.
When the flowers dried up, I cut them off. Similarly, when the flower stalk dried up, I removed it. 
I put the amaryllis in a sunny window for the rest of the winter. The leaves are graceful, curving structures. 
In the spring when the nighttime temperatures were reliably above 40 degrees F, I moved the plant outside to our sunny porch. 
The amaryllis went a bit feral outside. Weeds grew in the potting soil, and a spider took up residence in the leaves.
I intended to give it some liquid organic fertilizer, but that didn't happen. 
If the leaves wilted, I removed them.
In the fall when the thermometer started to drop below 40 F, I brought it inside. 
After a while, I cut off the few remaining leaves and moved it to the basement. I didn't water the bulb while it was in the basement.
I'd read that the bulb was supposed to stay in the dark for 6-8 weeks. 
At 7 weeks, the bulb had grown a 10" stem with a flower bud, so 6 weeks seems right. 
I brought it upstairs, watered thoroughly and put the plant in a warm, sunny spot. 
Flowers happened.