Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Christmas Amaryllis

There are two kinds of people in the world and I'm not talking Democrats and Republicans. No, this is about that odd group who are already done with their Christmas shopping.

I don't want to be too critical of them (on the off chance I'm on their gift-giving list!) But, as I trudge up the hill from my mailbox, each day, I can't help but grumble at the weight of my load.

I'm up to my eyeballs in holiday catalogs! Glossy color photos and deferred payments ('til February!) has, in no way, inspired me to start shopping. It's too early. I'll worry about that in December.

What I am worried about is something that probably hasn't occurred to you, or anyone else of sound mind.

It's time to get your Amaryllis growing!

Second only to Poinsettias, these big gorgeous flowers make absolutely breathtaking holiday centerpieces. Popular gifts for flower lovers (like me!)

The only problem is, they're sold in bulb form and most take 4-6 weeks to bloom. So, buy them now. That way, you'll have gorgeous flowers for Christmas, or Kwanzaa, or any other holiday that conveniently lands in December.

  • Plant in a heavy pot so they won't tip over. (Good quality bulbs grow to be huge plants, producing multiple flowers, some 6 inches wide.)
  • Start bulbs in a sunny window.
  • Go light on watering until flower stalk begins to grow.
  • Keep soil moist while plant is growing and blooming.
  • Rotate pot, exposing all sides to the sun. That way the stalk will grow straight vs. leaning toward the window.
Where to Buy:
That depends entirely on how much you like your friends. The best quality bulbs come from Jackson and Perkins. Walmart sells lower quality bulbs for 5 bucks. Jane gave me these beauties last year (photo below). I doubt they were from Wally World. Five weeks of happy blooms!

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