As the chill of winter begins to set in and all of nature settles into hibernation, flowers and plants inside the home can lift our spirits through the coming months.
Amaryllis is just one of the many flowers that showcase the beautiful colors of the holidays, and their towering stems and star-shaped blooms make a stunning presentation in both potted-bulb and cut flower forms.
A Little History
The name amaryllis was first described in the late 1700s and has dual meanings, being derived from ancient Greek words for “sparkle” and “knight’s star.” The flowering bulb cultivars that we see during the holidays originate from South American countries but are now bred mainly by Dutch and South African sources, with some breeding taking place in the U.S. (Texas, Florida and California), Japan and Australia. This cultivation began in the 19th and 20th centuries and has grown to become of great importance to the floral industry. Horticulturists have managed to create hybrid cultivars in single, double and miniature flowering varieties and an array of colors including pink, peach, green and orange as well as multicolor and striped. In their natural habitats, they are reproduced by bulbils, self-pollination or assisted by pollinators, such as hummingbirds carpenter bees and moths.
Historically, amaryllis symbolizes the blood of the love-struck nymph Amaryllis based on poet Virgil’s “Eclogues.” The Victorian language of flowers shows the amaryllis as representing pride. The bloom has also been adopted by groups that are searching for the cure and treatment of Huntington’s disease.
Amaryllis can be grown indoors in pots from bulbs purchased in the fall that will bloom in winter or by purchasing pre-potted bulbs that already have been growing and will bloom within a few weeks. Bulbs indoors are easy to care for and they give stunning results with little efforts. Simply keep them in a well-lit and warm location (about 68 degrees) and make sure the soil is kept moist, but not overwatered - their bulb and roots will rot with too much watering. With proper care and a dormant period, amaryllis can continue to grow year after year, and there is even evidence of bulbs living 75 years.
Let’s Grow carries a variety of cut and potted amaryllis throughout December and January, allowing homeowners to bring warmth inside during these colder months.