Friends gave us an Amaryllis bulb for the holidays. A perfect gift (for me at least) as I love them, and never purchased one this fall.
Amaryllis bulbs often come in neat kits, with instructions, pot and peat included.
If you buy your own kit, take a look at the bulb to make sure it is alive. Do you see how some of the roots are hydrated, and a bud pokes up from the bulb’s neck? This is a good bulb.
You’ll find the “soil” at the bottom of the pot. Every bit of moisture has been dried out of this peat, compressed into a thin disc.
After soaking in warm water for several hours the peat expands and will fill the pot. But I’ll leave that bit of fun for another day….
I love Amaryllis mixed into larger plantings. When in bloom, Amaryllis can be breathtakingly beautiful.
They make a huge floral splash for a few weeks as the buds open. The flowers are long-lived, but like every other flower, eventually they fade.
And then what do you do?
Their leaves, often two feet long or more, live on for quite a while re-fueling the bulb to bloom again next year.
Some folks probably chuck the bulb once the bloom is finished… but you know I’m not going to do that!
And so I like to grow the bulb as an element of an arrangement rather than as a single bulb in a pot.
There is something interesting to look at as the bulb begins to grow, and there is something interesting to look at as the bulb’s foliage finishes.
I incorporated this lovely bulb into another riff on my mossy garden theme.
The container has been sitting in the basement since I purchased it off a clearance shelf for a dollar or two several years ago. It is pretty shallow for a large bulb, but that is OK because Amaryllis don’t need to be planted deeply.
A bed of dried sphagnum moss in the bottom will wick up water, releasing it back slowly as needed. A small bed of stones lifts the base of the bulb a little above the bottom of the container to give the roots a head start. They will grow horizontally into the potting soil as they develop.
A lady fern ( adopted yesterday from Home Depot) gives some mass, presently towering over the bulb. The Amaryllis will quickly catch up, towering over the fern before it blooms.
I hope the fern will fill in quickly to balance the height of the bloom scape.
And finally, I went digging in a pot out in the garden where some strawberry begonia, Saxifraga stolonifera, and spikemoss, Selaginella, still survive.
I dug up more little divisions to bring inside.
These are both hardy to Zone 7, but the deep freeze coming this week won’t make them happy. I was glad to rescue them for a garden inside where it’s warm.
The ground cover is all mosses and lichens dug from the garden. These add such interesting texture and color to the design. There are endless combinations of mosses and lichens growing together, and all are wonderful viewed close up.
An Amaryllis becomes very top heavy as it grows. Many people stake them once they reach 12″-14″ tall. I plan to try a different approach.
I’ve brought up a tall, clear glass hurricane globe, which I’ll place into this little garden as the bulb begins to grow. It will make its own little “terrarium” like environment and will also support the Amaryllis, corralling both leaves and bloom scape.
The globe is so tall that it looked a little strange when I fitted it in earlier today. But once the Amaryllis starts its stretch, I think it will work just fine.
The dish garden sits on a mirrored buffet in the dining room. It gets bright light from several directions for most of the day. We will enjoy watching this little garden grow.
A dynamic mix, it will change every few days.
When the weather settles enough to move the Amaryllis outside later in the spring, I’ll move all of the other plants back out into the garden to enjoy another growing season in the sun, wind and rain. But until then, we’ll enjoy a close up view of their progress.
Any garden of moss needs high humidity and frequent misting and watering.
Please remember that moss plants are so primitive they have no roots or vascular system. Each cell must absorb the water it needs from its environment. That is why moss thrives in rain!
Ferns are thirsty, too, as is the Amaryllis. This little planting will need water every couple of days.
Moss thrive in acidic conditions. Diluted brewed tea (no sugar or cream, please) feeds the plants and keeps their environment acidic. I dilute whatever tea is left in the pot before washing it, and share this cold brew among different plants each day. Any planting with ferns or moss will appreciate “a cuppa” from time to time.
Amaryllis kits remain popular gifts. Maybe you received one, too. These beautiful flowers charm us year after year with their bright winter blooms.
And like all bulbs, they grow as if by magic. Just anchor them in medium, add water, and prepare to be amazed with their beauty!
Woodland Gnome 2015
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Your creative planting will be very impressive when it blooms!!!
…and what a lovely setting for the bulb while you wait for the flowers. 😉
Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year-
Thank you, Jane 😉 Our best wishes to you, too, for a happy, creative and healthy new year 😉 WG
Terrific idea to incorporate the amaryllis into a small container garden. Please show how the garden progresses, I know it will be charming!
Great idea, Barbara 😉 Will do 😉 Best wishes, WG
Lovely container planting, I can’t wait to see it bloom. It’s been years since I have grown the Amaryllis bulbs, might have to put that on my new calendar for next year!! I love your calendar!! 🙂
😉 Thank you, Michael! I’m so glad you are enjoying it! Yes, do make a note to pick up an Amaryllis next December. They are such fun to watch growing. Is it still raining there? I heard there were tornadoes in Hilton Head. Timing is everything, they say. So glad you and your family are back home- I haven’t heard damage reports, and hope there was none. Best wishes, WG
I love your little garden – the color of the pot will perfectly match the bloom of A.’Minerva,’ just as you intended 😉 You are so creative – it is a lovely thing!
Thank you, Eliza. The pot has waited for its use for about 3 years now… glad to finally figure it out 😉 Are you getting snow today? The wind is howling here. Hope you’re well 😉 WG
It started out snowing last night but soon turned to freezing rain. See my latest post to see what it did to our world! No wind yet, yikes, we don’t need that, it’ll break the trees and what a mess that will be. Stay cozy!
Thanks, Eliza- I’ll take a look at your post. We always say, “No wind!” too, and I’m listening to it pick up again out there right now. Lots of limbs down today in our area. I hope your trees make it. Ice is so pretty, but so dangerous and destructive! Stay warm and dry, Best wishes, WG
Let’s hope your wind settles down and you stay safe.
It did, we did, and the sun is up to greet us this morning 😉 Thank you for all good wishes, WG
What fun this felt like.
Oh, it is 😉 We can do one for you….. ? Hugs, WG