By Melinda Myers
When squirrels are busy storing nuts for winter, it’s time for gardeners to start gathering amaryllis bulbs to sustain them through the dreary months ahead. Ordering now will ensure you have lots of choices, so you can select an assortment of different flowers styles, colors, and bloom times.
The flowers of double amaryllis are packed full of petals and sure to brighten any day. Double King lives up to its name with three or more layers of brilliant red, velvety petals. Each bulb produces multiple flower stems, so you’ll enjoy weeks of blossoms.
Sweet Nymph is another double and its softer coloring is equally beautiful. The flowers feature layers of creamy white petals with coral pink stripes and are sure to add a bit of romantic charm to your winter.
Add some energy to your indoor décor with amaryllis Dancing Queen (longfield-gardens.com). The bold eight-inch blooms are comprised of layers of ruffled snow-white petals with delicate scarlet-red stripes.
The flowers of Exotic Star have an unusual shape and color that have earned it lots of fans. The asymmetrical petals are parchment-white with narrow, garnet-red stripes and apple green highlights.
Bring in some fresh spring green color with amaryllis Evergreen. Pale chartreuse petals give it a fresh, modern look. Each bulb produces two stems with four to six flowers each. Enjoy them as a living bouquet or cut a few stems to display in a vase.
Grow Ice Queen when looking to add elegance to your winter décor. Its enormous, frosty white flowers have lime green accents and combine nicely with evergreen boughs and holiday decorations. Plant the bulbs by early November to get flowers for the holidays.
Charisma is another variety that blooms in early winter. The two-tone petals have a unique ombre effect. Enjoy the changing colors this variety exhibits as it transforms from bud to fully open flower.
Amaryllis are long lasting cut flowers and the variety Picotee is no exception. Each of its pure white petals are outlined with a very thin red line. A lime-green center adds freshness. Beautiful displayed in a pot or in a vase.
Rosy Star is another eye-catching amaryllis with snowy white blossoms that are decorated with brush stroke highlights in three shades of pink. The apple green throat adds to this variety’s elegance and appeal.
As more people discover the joy of growing amaryllis, flower breeders are busy introducing new cultivars. Gervase is a good example of these exciting new options. Each blossom is a little different, with ruby-red petals adorned with variable stripes and veining. You will have plenty of blooms to enjoy as large bulbs can produce twelve or more spectacular blossoms.
Maximize your enjoyment by growing your amaryllis where you can watch the daily transformation, from the first bud breaking through the soil until the flowers begin to unfurl.
Growing amaryllis indoors will keep you gardening all year round, no matter where you live. You’ll enjoy the mood-boosting benefits and stress relief, and the colorful blossoms are sure to brighten your winter days.
Melinda Myers has written numerous books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Longfield Gardens for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ web site is www.MelindaMyers.com.