There’s nothing like a classic tradition that makes celebrating the holidays feel extra warm and nostalgic. It’s true, there’s a sense of deja vu involved in holiday festivities, as we often choose to celebrate them the same way for generations within the family.
This year, freshen up your holiday season with the gift of an Alfresco Amaryllis Bulb. These flowers have been a traditional symbol of the season for ages, however, most people are unaware that they can provide these plants with a loving and lasting home. This week, learn more about the history of the amaryllis, how to care for the plant, and what to do with the bulb after it blooms.
Amaryllis History & Legend
Traditionally, the Amaryllis is a representation of determination, beauty, and love. It has also demonstrated a symbol of success; in Europe, the Amaryllis is commonly given as a gift for acknowledgment of hard-earned achievements.
According to Greek Mythology, the amaryllis originated from the love Amaryllis, a maiden, had for Alteo, a shepherd. Amaryllis fell in love with Alteo; he was strong, handsome and had a passion for flowers. Amaryllis wanted to win his affection, so she went to the Oracle of Delphi for advice.
On the Oracle’s orders, she stood in front of the house of Alteos for thirty nights, piercing her heart with a golden arrow. On the thirtieth night, a beautiful flower grew from her blood, and helped her win Alteos love.
There are over 600 varieties of this beautiful, blooming flower. In fact, the United States alone imports over 10 million amaryllis bulbs annually; most of these bulbs come from Holland and South Africa.
If you’re looking for more information about the lovely amaryllis, take a look at our interview with amaryllis expert, Charles Barnhoorn of Hadeco.
Plant Care Tips
The alfresco amaryllis prefers bright, indirect light, and takes between four and seven weeks to bloom. When you plant your bulb, be sure that ⅓ of the bulb remains above the soil, and water sparingly until you see about two inches of new growth. Once the plant is in active growth, make sure you water it regularly, and rotate the pot to encourage the stalk to grow straight.
As individual flowers on the plant fade, you can carefully snip them off. Once all flowers on a flower stalk have faded, cut the stem back to within a few inches of the bulb in order to prepare the bulb for storage.
Re-Growing your Bulb
Amaryllis bulbs can be encouraged to blossom again the following year – it takes a little planning and extra care, but it is quite simple and extremely rewarding. After the flowers have faded, cut the flower stalk to within one inch of the top of the bulb, then regularly water and nourish the plant with a liquid houseplant fertilizer, such as the one linked here.
In mid-August, begin withholding water and let the plant’s foliage die back naturally as the pot entirely dries out. In late summer or early fall, stop watering your plant and move the potted bulb to a cool (ideally about 55 degrees Fahrenheit), dry location, away from bright light. A basement or garage is typically ideal for this purpose.
Storing your Bulb for Next Year
Store the dormant bulb in a cool, dark, and dry place for a minimum of eight weeks; if you want to store it for longer, this is also fine. Once you reach about six to eight weeks before you want your bulb to flower again, repot the bulb in fresh potting soil and place it in bright, indirect light.
Next, resume your watering regime; water the bulb sparingly at first, so as not to overwhelm it. Once you finally see new growth, you can increase watering and prepare for some wonderful, luscious blooms.
By following these simple flower care guidelines, you will be sure to bring back your amaryllis flowers time and time again.
Give the Gift of Growth
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a loved one this year, look no further than our lovely alfresco amaryllis bulb. This plant comes complete with a lovely bamboo planter that can be upcycled to function as a home for your indoor herb garden when the amaryllis is out of season.
Give someone the gift of growth this year by providing them with the opportunity to nurture their amaryllis to full blooms season after season – what’s more satisfying than that?