If I had to choose a plant to symbolize the 21st century, the amaryllis would be my top pick. Its ability to provide such spectacular results in a short amount of time makes it perfect for the title. That’s what we’re all about these days, isn’t it?
To grow an amaryllis in your home, plant a bulb in a container that is a few inches wider than the bulb. Fill with soil leaving approximately a quarter of the top of the bulb exposed. Water and place in a sunny location. First, a long stalk will emerge from the bulb, and in just a few weeks, a beautiful flower will bloom. Once your amaryllis finishes flowering remove the stalk, but leave the foliage. During the non-blooming part of its life treat it like an ordinary houseplant. Around mid-October cut back the foliage, put it in a dark place and stop watering. About a month later bring it out, begin watering, put it in full sun and presto, you’ll have a whole new generation of flowers.
For those who live by the phrase “too much is just enough” it’s helpful to know that larger bulbs do make a difference. The 20 -24 cm bulbs (they are graded by the number of centimeters around the bulb) will, more than likely, produce two stalks per bulb. A 28 cm bulb will always produce two stems and sometimes three! When you consider that each stalk is crowned with two to five blooms the potential flower display is almost a case of visual overload.