Amaryllis; a plant for the holiday and beyond / by Suzanne

When I was growing up nothing said Christmas quite like a poinsettia. But for the last decade or longer the amaryllis has become equally if not more popular (at least here in Canada) and is often the go-to plant to decorate homes this time of year.

In late November and early December amaryllis bulbs, potted and ready to bloom, are found in florists shops. Kits to grow your own - potting soil, a bulb and a plastic pot - start appearing in grocery, garden and hardware stores. Some of you might even be able to find loose bulbs for sale. That way you can choose a bulb that looks promising, with the tip of the flower bud emerging from the bulb.

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Above: Perfectly potted and ready to bloom, at Bloomfields Flowers.

Here are a few reasons why Amaryllis is a perfect plant to have inside your home this season:

Its willingness to produce beautiful blooms in the dead of winter. It’s relatively easy to coax this tropical plant to bloom. Soil isn’t even necessary and you can, as with paper whites, use water as your growing medium. The blooms, spectacular in size and available in many bold and bright colours, light up a room with ease. 

Amaryllis give you sculptural bang for your buck. A single bulb can produce a theatrical display with a cluster of trumpet-like flowers. You can watch the plant gracefully shape-shift as it grows. An amaryllis is beautiful at each stage of growth - when the bud first emerges from the bulb, when the blooms eventually unfold and everywhere in between. There’s always something splendid for the eye to behold.

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The blooms are long lasting. A bloom time of six to seven weeks means a bit of green and colour to carry us to the other side of the holidays, after the decorations have been cleared away.

Amaryllis flowers are beautiful no matter how you showcase them. Potted amaryllis still growing and on the verge of blooming look great on tabletops, windowsills, and easily at home amongst other holiday decor. Use amaryllis as a cut flower, too. When the bud first cracks open, cut the stem right above the bulb and place in water in a tall glass vase. Place on a coffee table near the tree. Mix a few amaryllis stems with other flowers and greenery and place in a beautiful urn for a theatrical holiday centrepiece.

Holiday decor from Bloomfields Flowers.

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Above: Amaryllis blooms, the stars of this sculptural beauty by Bloomfields Flowers.

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Above: Amaryllis are known to get top heavy and are at risk for toppling over. No chance of that for this potted amaryllis thanks to the sturdy clay pot and the well-anchored bulb. By Bloomfields Flowers.

An amaryllis bulb, whether already in bloom or on its way, makes a wonderful gift. And it’s the gift that can keep on giving, as long as you treat it right. Some folks toss the plant in the compost after it’s finished flowering but, with a regimen of care, an amaryllis bulb can reward you with blooms that get better with each passing year. For decades even!

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