I think most of us have an unspoken desire to have the most festive, most beautifully decorated home in the neighborhood when the holidays roll around. I know I do, and considering the amount of seasonal décor items we sell every year, I think it’s pretty safe to say that lots of others feel the same way.
If you’ve shopped with us before, you’ve probably noticed that we sell a LOT of Amaryllis. And that is because Amaryllis have become inseparably linked with the Christmas season. The huge, perfectly formed blooms come in a dazzling variety of festive colors: reds, whites, pinks, red and white stripes with bright green accents. You name it, you can probably find it.
The fact that they’re ridiculously easy to grow helps as well. And they grow FAST—about 8 weeks from the time that they’re planted and watered to filling your home with spectacular blossoms! Right now is actually the perfect time to get your Amaryllis ready for the holidays. We’ll start shipping on October 20th, so you might want to pick out your favorites soon. You’ll undoubtedly want to get one or two for yourself, but don’t forget that Amaryllis also make fantastic gifts for those on your shopping list, including the kids, who like to measure their daily growth. Who wouldn’t be delighted to receive something so beautiful?
One of our single Amaryllis gifts makes a dazzling display that’s perfect as a centerpiece or bright accent on a fireplace mantel or kitchen counter top, but our triple and ultimate sets are tailor-made for creating the focal point of your home holiday décor! Just imagine what an impression it will make on your guests when they see what is basically a garden’s worth of brilliant blooms gracing your dining table!
But these beauties aren’t relegated to dinner tables alone. Nope, they look fantastic anywhere! Place one on an entry table to greet your guests, add a bit of color to a breakfast nook, or give one to each of the kids to add some festive charm to their bedrooms. Trust me, you’ll find many areas throughout your home that are just calling out for these stunning blooms!
Amaryllis, which by the way, means “to sparkle” in Greek, got its name from a shepherdess in a poem composed by the Roman poet, Virgil. If that doesn’t add an extra bit of magic to its holiday connections, I don’t know what does!
Honestly, there’s nothing not to love about Amaryllis. Easy and fun to grow, beautiful, and long-lasting, and you can enjoy them beyond one holiday season. An interesting little fact about these amazing plants: if properly cared for, they can actually live and produce flowers for up to 75 years! Yes, I know that most of us aren’t going to have an Amaryllis for 75 years, but it is possible. Now THAT is what I call a fun family heirloom!
If you do, however, want to get more than one year out of your Amaryllis, here’s how. When you receive your gift, make sure that about 1/3 to 2/3 of the bulb is exposed above the soil, and water it thoroughly. Unless the soil starts to look dry, you shouldn’t water it again until green shoots appear.
When the first new growth appears, move it to a sunny spot and keep it very well-watered until it blooms. Once the flowers open, move the plant out of direct sunlight, which will prolong the life of the flowers.
After the blooms pass (which takes several weeks!), trim the stems down to a few inches, place the pot back in a sunny spot, and keep watering and feeding it until the leaves turn yellow. You will find that most Amaryllis will remain green for months, their deeply colored, strap-like foliage making an attractive addition to the home or office.
When the foliage finally dies back, remove the plant from sun, stop watering it, and keep the bulb potted up in a dry, cool place. Allow it rest for at least 10 weeks before beginning the color show all over again!
If you decide to re-pot your bulb, which you should probably do every 3 to 5 years, you may notice small bulbils growing along the edges of the main bulb. These can be left alone or they can be potted separately and grown as new plants, although they will take several years to reach mature size.
And for those lucky individuals who live in a tropical climate (zones 9-10), their Amaryllis will grow like Topsy in their gardens. All they have to do is plant the bulbs about 8 inches deep, spacing them 6 to 8 inches apart. Fertilize the soil about 3 weeks after planting, and they’ll be enjoying bright, festive blooms in mid- to late winter.
Hopefully by now you’ve decided there’s no way you can start decorating for the holidays this year without finding a place of honor for an Amaryllis or two. They truly are some of the easiest, most gorgeous and rewarding plants you’ll ever grow, and since they make wonderful gifts for others as well, it’s a win-win situation—send something beautiful to someone special and treat yourself to a festive, flowering decoration everyone will love!
And remember, we’d love to connect with you throughout the holidays and beyond. Keep in touch with us through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Flickr. We want to watch your Amaryllis grow and see what fantastic displays you’ve come up with for your family and friends!