This is how amaryllis can develop their flowers

This is how amaryllis can develop their flowers

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Thick amaryllis bulbs are cleaned before planting, i.e. dry roots are cut off. Then they go into a not very large pot with a drainage layer so that the top of the bulb looks out of the potting soil. © Klaus Fischer

When I stroll through the horse market during the All Saints Fair, it has long been a fun tradition for me to stop by the flower bulb stand. There were as many as five traders offering tulips, daffodils and crocuses, as well as ornamental onions and amaryllis as well as some exotic beauties.

Sost – At present there is only one merchant left, while the others have given up their business due to old age and lack of successors. We can only hope that this “last knight of flower bulbs” will stay with us for a long time.

I have to replant most of my tulips year after year because beautiful, mass-planted tulips often only bloom once. Because of the voles in my country garden, whose favorite food is tulip bulbs, I long ago switched to growing them only in large containers. Daffodils, on the other hand, offend greedy rodents, so I put more of them in the ground year after year, and even some places in the garden are now mini-daffodil meadows because they also reproduce diligently.

Caring for amaryllis properly: many wonderful flowers

This time I couldn’t pass by two huge amaryllis bulbs. They are so big that I can only hold one in my hand. I have five amaryllis bulbs that are several years old, but they are nowhere near as fat as the ones I bought in Holland. They may have been fattened with fertilizer so that they would immediately catch the attention of buyers. They are supposed to produce many wonderful flowers because they are full of power. You will see that.

Now that the exhibition is over, it’s time to put it in the ground in a container suitable for the living room. Maybe we’ll be able to get them blooming in time for Christmas. It takes a good four weeks from planting to flower opening.

Caring for amaryllis properly: Drainage to prevent waterlogging

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum or Ritterstern) does not tolerate waterlogging. For this reason we first fill the pot, which is slightly larger than the onion, with a drainage layer made of small stones, followed by ordinary potting soil. The top of the lamp should be protruding from the ground. Then we water and leave the onions dark and at a temperature of about 18 degrees until the first shoots begin to appear. Then we move the amaryllis to the living room, and it is best to water it from below over a saucer and then cut the wilted flower stem. From May we can place the pot outside, water it moderately and stop watering at the end of July. At the beginning of September we cut the leaves that are still green. The onions then need a dry, dark rest period for at least six weeks before the cycle begins again in November.

Currently there is a tree that is attracting attention and is now often planted on the side of the city. It is ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba). This tree, which comes from East Asia, is often referred to as a living fossil because it is perhaps the oldest living plant species on Earth.

Ginkgo is neither a conifer nor a deciduous tree, although we like to talk about its leaves, but it is considered a gymnosperm, that is, a conifer. It is precisely these leaves that delight us in autumn with a rare and bright light yellow color, which, apart from the unusual shape of the leaves, always pleases many people. For this reason it is sometimes called the fan tree. It is for this reason that Goethe wrote his poem “Ginkgo Biloba” in 1815 and thus contributed greatly to the fame of this tree in Germany. The oldest specimens here were planted in the mid-18th century, initially in the gardens of the nobles and later also in the municipal gardens. It appears that it was Goethe himself who planted the ginkgo tree in Weimar, and today we know that this tree was planted by the court gardener Scheele in 1813 and still flourishes there today.

Ginkgo leaves look like little fans, here in bright yellow autumn.  Sometimes it is also slit in the middle.
Ginkgo leaves look like little fans, here in bright yellow autumn. Sometimes it is also slit in the middle. © Fisher

The fact that it is so popular as an inner-city street tree today is due to its extremely robust nature. There are almost no pests on the ginkgo plant, fungi do not bother it either, and pollution in the air does not bother it either.

If you want to grow ginkgo in your garden, you must have a suitable place for it. Over time, the ginkgo plant grows to about 40 meters high and 15 meters wide, while in its youth it becomes rather slender with branches rising sharply upward. The older the tree, the more these branches spread. There is said to be thousands of years old ginkgo in East Asia.

Even in very cloudy weather, the autumn yellow leaves of ginkgo, here a special pyramid-shaped variety, sparkle in the distance.
Even in very cloudy weather, the autumn yellow leaves of ginkgo, here a special pyramid-shaped variety, sparkle in the distance. © Klaus Fischer

The soil should not be too wet or too dry. The location should be fairly sunny. If you are planting now in the fall, you should plant specimens that are at least five years old in the ground and provide protection from frost. Younger ginkgos are best planted in spring.

It should also be noted that ginkgo is dioecious, meaning there are female and male plants. The fruits of female plants look like mirabell plums, but they have the property that if they fall to the ground when they are very ripe, they smell very bad for a while.

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