Saturday, January 15, 2011

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum?...)

I picked this one up at (where else?) Lowe's a couple days before Christmas when their Christmas merchandise was just going on sale. I chose the traditional red (I'm a traditional girl, what can I say?). It was $6 and well worth it already. I followed the directions for planting on the package, but growth was slow for about two or three weeks despite adequate watering. Then, all of a sudden, it started growing like crazy! Here's what happened in the span of 12 days, from January 3rd to January 15th.

 The thing grows 2 inches each day! I've been measuring it. It went from 15.5 to 16.5 to 18 and now to almost 20! I had to stake it yesterday, as it was falling over. I've never grown an Amaryllis before and am so far very satisfied.

Wait just a minute. I went to trusty old Wikipedia for a little info on Amaryllis and read that "It should not be confused with Hippeastrum, a flowering bulb commonly sold in the winter months for its ability to bloom indoors." What is this about??? Apparently, I have a plant from the Hippeastrum genus. Here's the link, if you're interested in reading more:

Alright, then. Hey, apparently the two plants are pretty similar. I think I'll just go on calling this Amaryllis. No one will be the wiser. Okay, moving on.

This kit came with a nice pot, "compressed planting disk," and of course, the bulb. I'll share the info it came with. I'd like to give credit to the specific brand, but I only kept the portion of the package that had directions on it. I tried to find it on Lowe's website, but apparently everybody in charge there has suffered some sort of brain injury that has incapacitated them all. They have no "Amaryllis" information whatsoever. Anyway...

"1.) Place compressed planting disk in the pot provided and add 2 cups of warm water.
2.) Fluff up mix with a fork.
3.) Place your bulb into mix, pointed end up, so the top of the bulb is 1-2 inches above the planting mix.
4.) Put the pot in a warm place.
5.) Water once a week.
6.) As soon as the bud is visable, water twice a week until flowers have faded.
7.) Blooms in 8-10 weeks.

After Care: Plant the Amaryllis bulb in the garden in May and give it some fertilizer. Take out of the garden in September and cut off the leaves. Store the bulb in a cool dry place for two months. Then pot the bulb again. This plant will grow for many years."

Just for the sake of accuracy, I read up and checked on websites and read in all my garden books as well. One of my books, The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual (hardy har) gives pretty much the same information, just with more detail and with slight variation. This book uses Hippeastrum Hortorum as the scientific name, but Amaryllis as the common name. Eh, it works. It also says to fertilize it every 10 days, and I will when I water my plants tomorrow.

Update sure to come when it blooms. :)

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