I received a beautiful wooden box full of amaryllis bulbs from my friends at Longfield Gardens who thought I could use a little bit of color to brighten up the gray days of winter. And they were right.
But what I didn't have was time to plant the bulbs or anything to plant them in. So I put the box in the hall closet while I had guests, and promptly forgot about it … until I opened the door and saw blooms busting right out of the box.
That's right: Without water, soil or any light at all, three 'Apple Blossom' amaryllis flowers have grown in my closet. One flower has actually shot up through the handle of my drawer!
"Amaryllises are our foolproof winter superstar," says Hans Langeveld, co-owner of Longfield Gardens. "They take zero experience to grow. Even though they've been known to bloom in the bag, amaryllis bulbs are happiest in a container slightly larger than the bulb itself."
Often thought of as a holiday flower, amaryllis stretches the season deep into winter. Longfield Gardens offers many varieties, including the ruby red 'Benefica' and hot pink "Neon," in two bulb sizes, and the wooden box will be available this fall.
If, unlike me, you prefer to plant amaryllis bulbs where you can see them, here are few ways to care for your indoor bloomers:
- Amaryllis bulbs like to be crowded in their pots. Make sure there's a drainage hole for excess water.
- Set some steel wool or a dryer sheet at the bottom of the pot to keep the potting soil in and position the bulb root-down in the pot. The "shoulders" and "neck" of the bulb should be visible above the soil line.
- Water to moisten.
- Blooms can take 6-8 weeks. Move to indirect light and snip off flowers as they fade.