Also known as Amarillo, naked lady, and belladonna lily, amaryllis enjoys the reputation of being one of the easiest to grow amongst many indoor bulbs. A lot of people grow amaryllis because of its colorful and beautiful flowers, making it an excellent choice for an ornamental plant. Even without a green thumb or technical expertise in gardening, growing amaryllis will be an easy task for you.
A native of Central and South America, amaryllis comes with an erect flower stem, which has a height that usually ranges from five to 60 centimeters. The diameter, on the other hand, ranges from one to three centimeters. Each stem can produce two to five flowers. Each flower, on the other hand, has three petals and three sepals. The leaves, meanwhile, are flat and narrow.
Given the abundance of the options for varieties of amaryllis, deciding which one to plant can be a difficult task. One of the most popular for indoor planting is the Apple Blossom, which has snowy white and candy pink flower with lime green throat. For something that is bolder, on the other hand, try the Red Lion, which has bright red blooms that are perfect for the holiday. For something that is subtle but equally beautiful, the Faro is a good pick, which has pale salmon bloom. If you want a variety that is unique, a good pick is the Ice Queen, which has spider-like white petals. For a unique variety, try Papillio Butterfly, which has flowers that look like a butterfly.
Planting and Growing Conditions
There are different ways to plant amaryllis and there is perhaps none that is more popular than using soil as the medium. In this case, using your pot of choice, fill half of the pot with a good soil. Place the bulb on the pot, making sure that the roots will rest on the surface. Add more soil to cover the roots of the bulb. Press the soil firmly and press the top. Water it afterwards.
Alternatively, it is also possible to grow amaryllis in water. Look for a water vessel, such as a glass vase, and fill it with pebbles or stones, approximately three inches. Place the bulb and cover it with more stone, which will provide stability to the bulb. Add water, but make sure that it will not touch the bulb. Frequently refill water as needed.
Another possibility that you can consider is planting amaryllis in coco peat. This is an excellent alternative as it has high water retention and provides aeration for the roots. In a pot or container, assemble the coco peat. Add warm water, making sure that the coco peat will be able to absorb it. Wait for at least 15 minutes and stir. Position the bulb to burry its roots and add more peat on the top.
Regardless of the planting method that you choose, it is important to pay attention to the right growing conditions. Light is one of the most important. In this case, be sure to position the plant somewhere it will receive bright but indirect sunlight. A window in the south or west will be a good place. Once the blooms start to appear, it will need more direct sunlight, and in some instances, you will have to bring it outdoors.
When it comes to soil, on the other hand, adding organic matter or compost will help to make the medium nutrient-rich. Make sure that it is moist, but never soggy. One way to ensure this is to have the necessary drainage in the pot or container, allowing water to move out. You should also avoid overwatering. Water the plant only when the top soil seems dry.
Pests and Diseases
Fungal and bacterial diseases are some of the most common problems in amaryllis, which will affect the flowers and the roots. To be more specific, leaf scorch, soft bulb rot, bulb decay, and black mildew are some of the most common diseases. When it comes to pests, on the other hand, an infestation can be caused by caterpillars, grasshopper, mealybugs, aphids, bulb mites, and nematodes, among others.
Care and Maintenance
Here are some of the best things that you can do to make sure that your indoor amaryllis will grow:
- Once the flower fades, this does not mean that it is the end of the life of the plant. There are some things that you can do to encourage re-flowering. Using clean scissors, cut the old flower, about an inch from the stem. Water it frequently and within about two months, signs of redevelopment will be apparent.
- Amaryllis can grow tall. With this, the plant needs foundation so that it can stand. Use trellis or twigs so that the plant will not topple. When putting the stake, however, be sure to not pierce the stem or the bulb as this can kill the plant.
- Fertilizing is also necessary to make sure of the healthy growth of the plant. this will supplement the nutrients that are essential for survival. An organic or slow-release fertilizer is the best choice.
- In some cases, you will notice that more leaves are growing but the flowers do not appear. Some of the reasons for this include too much water or nitrogen fertilizer. Hence, avoid over-fertilizing or over-watering to make sure that the plant will bloom.
- During the stage at which the plant grows, direct sunlight is necessary. However, when the flowers start to appear, keep it out of the direct sun. Place it in a spot that is slightly cooler to preserve the freshness of the flower.
As one of the easiest to grow blooms, amaryllis should be on the top of the list of the best indoor plants for novice gardeners. It does not require too much effort and extensive knowledge. Seeing its colorful and beautiful flowers bloom will surely be rewarding.