All About Amaryllis Easy to Grow Indoor/Outdoor | Home and garden

All About Amaryllis Easy to Grow Indoor/Outdoor |  Home and garden

The National Parks Bureau designates a specific plant to celebrate each year.

The goal is to promote awareness, education and appreciation for this particular plant – and this year, one of the choices is amaryllis.

The amaryllis you decorate your home with during the winter holidays is Hippeastrum, which means horse star. Amaryllis comes from a Greek word meaning to shine or shimmer. Hippeastrum bulbs belong to the Amaryllidaceae family and come from Central and South America, especially the Andean region. It was first introduced to Europe in the 18th century.

Amaryllis comprise 90 species and over 600 cultivars in all kinds of colors and shapes, and it's all thanks to these hybridizers who continue to create new, unconventional flower patterns, shapes and shades.

The majority of bulbs you buy are either Dutch or South African hybrids. These plants will bloom without needing any special treatment right after you get them.

Our family has amaryllis that has been passed down and is still thriving, carrying on its legacy for three generations.

Fun fact: Amaryllis bulbs can be induced to bloom indoors, making them a popular choice for holiday decorations. This time of year, pre-packaged amaryllis bulbs are commonly found in stores. Many come with a plastic pot and bag of growing mix. Sometimes, you'll find bulbs that don't require water or soil. They are often prominently displayed in stores leading up to the holiday season.

The trumpet-shaped flowers are large, often 6 to 10 inches in diameter. They come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, white and two-color combinations. Amaryllis flowers typically have six large, showy tepals (petals and sepals that look alike). Amaryllis produce long, ribbon-like green leaves that appear after the flowers.

You can grow healthy, vibrant amaryllis plants, and enjoy their stunning blooms indoors during the winter months. Choose large, healthy bulbs. Look for bulbs that do not have any signs of rot or damage. Plant the bulbs in a well-draining potting mix, leaving the top third of the bulb exposed above the soil. Plant in a pot with drainage holes. Water well after planting and keep the soil constantly moist but not soggy. Allow the soil to dry between watering.

Amaryllis prefer bright, indirect light. Keep the plant in a warm location, about 65 to 75 F. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer).

Amaryllis usually bloom in late winter or early spring. After flowering, cut off the spent flower stems but allow the leaves to continue growing. In the fall, gradually reduce watering to allow the bulb to enter dormancy. You can store the bulb in a cool, dark place for eight to 10 weeks before returning it to the light to begin the growth cycle. Watch for pests such as aphids and scale insects. Ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.

Additionally, amaryllis can be grown outdoors in garden environments, especially in the South in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 10. Once warm spring weather arrives, you have the opportunity to grow amaryllis in your garden.

Many amaryllis varieties continually return and thrive in the summer garden. An observation you may notice is that its height outdoors is noticeably shorter than its height indoors. This discrepancy arises because growing indoors involves the phenomenon of stretching in search of light, whereas in the garden during the summer, extended daylight hours make finding sufficient light a more straightforward process.

Growing amaryllis is so easy! Simply plant the bulbs in well-drained soil, give them some gentle, not-so-bright light, and you can even move them indoors out here in Louisiana. In the southern United States, amaryllis carry not only the beauty of their vibrant blooms, but also the magic of being a transient plant, sharing their elegance from garden to garden, creating a blooming legacy that transcends the seasons. Our family has amaryllis that has been passed down and is still thriving, carrying on its legacy for three generations.

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