Blooming Amaryllis!

One of my three Amaryllis bulbs is finally blooming; to say I am surprised is a massive understatement! Two gorgeous pale blooms in full flower and one still in bud!

I bought three bulbs in late December 2010 (or possibly early 2011) from Homebase as they were reduced down to almost nothing because the season had passed and they were sprouting vigorously in the cardboard packs. Two of them flowered the first year, then I got distracted and have ignored all the instructions on the tender loving care they should be getting.

They’ve had to adapt to the standard care regime for houseplants (and come to think of it many of the garden plants) around here which is:

  • they get watered when I remember (or when the Peace Lily looks droopy),
  • they have to live under the shade cast by the two large weeping figs,
  • they have to cope with the slight breeze coming in from my silly louvre windows (which I will get replaced by a proper sash window at some point)
  • they live in the bedroom so they get a lot of light early in the day which gradually decreases (my flat is orientated E-W which means the bedroom gets loads of light early morning and the lounge gets all the late afternoon/evening light).
  • They’ve survived but I didn’t expect any flowers this year. Last August was a month of serious neglect as I’d had to move the contents of the lounge into the bedroom while I had some building work done and then I took a few weeks to redecorate. It was difficult to get to them to water and feed during this time and the neglect was topped off with a fine layer of plaster dust over everything!

They’ve survived but I didn’t expect any flowers this year. Last August was a month of serious neglect as I’d had to move the contents of the lounge into the bedroom while I had some building work done and then I took a few weeks to redecorate. It was difficult to get to them to water and feed during this time and the neglect was topped off with a fine layer of plaster dust over everything!

But as you can see from the photos at least one plant has thrived on this.  The others have a healthy leaf growth but no sign of blooms

amaryllis-1As you can see, the one in full flower lives in a corner of the bedroom. There’s a second Amaryllis next to it which has wonderful leaf growth (but no sign of stem or flower) and a third one on the floor which is lagging a little behind the others.

On the left is a variegated weeping fig (Ficus benjamina ‘Variegata’) which dropped a lot of leaves over winter (not an ideal spot – the top part of the window is louvred and lets in a little bit of a draught) and is being nursed back to health.  It will spend next winter in the living room! On the right you can see the fronds of an extremely large and very weepy pure green weeping fig (Ficus benjamina cultivar unknown) which I rescued from my ex’s house when S was going to throw it away. Over the last 2 years it’s developed triffed-like tendencies. At the very back you can just about glimpse the glossy green leaves of the rubber plant (Ficus elastica).

They all seem to do well in the corner (barring the winter leaf drop) but I may have to move house if they get much bigger, or master how to layer figs and rubber plants!

A couple of close ups to show how pale the flowers of this particular Amaryllis ‘Apple Blossom’ are. Papery white petals with pale pink striations which look like they’ve been gently brushed over the petals from the centre of the flower to the tips. Googling indicates the flower form varies quite a lot with some being very pink. I think the 99p I paid for it was well worth the investment!

I must away and read up on Amaryllis care to give them some TLC over Easter/Spring Bank Holidays so I can prime all three to flower next year!

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