A Perfect Perennial

“A Perfect Perennial”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

“The Metier of Blossoming” by Denise Livertov

Fully occupied with growing–that’s
the amaryllis…
If humans could be
that intensely whole, undistracted, unhurried,
swift from sheer
unswerving impetus! If we could blossom
out of ourselves, giving
nothing imperfect, withholding nothing!

One spring-blooming flower that is certainly excelling this year in the garden is the amaryllis or more accurately hippeastrum. One of the advantages of living in a mild climate is that I can grow these in the garden as well as having a potted one or two during the winter to brighten up the dark days of December.

Most of mine have been pass-alongs from generous gardeners like my sister, people I work with, or friends. Of course, I do buy some during the fall, pot them up for winter flowers, and then plant them outside in April. My oldest amaryllis are solid red ones.

 

 

The red and white ones are planted nearby. Both of these were from my sister’s garden.

 

 

 

A friend from work shared several of these lovely soft orange amaryllis.

 

 

Appleblossom is always a show stopper. The flowers are numerous and huge.

 

 

Finally, the white amaryllis, which is just about my favorite, is the last to bloom.

 

 

Unfortunately, the last two summers have been a fight with the grasshoppers who love amaryllis. Last year, in particular, these pests really chomped down on the amaryllis, and I am afraid many of my bulbs were unable to set flowers. (None of my pink ones bloomed this year.) While there have been many bloom this year, a great many bulbs did not produce flowers at all, and I am thinking the grasshoppers and their appetite is to blame. In the last week, I have discovered and quickly dispatched about thirty small grasshoppers in the garden. Every day now, I go “hunting” to try and stay ahead of these voracious insects. I want to make sure my amaryllis bulbs are protected so they can bloom next year as they normally would.

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6 Comments

  1. Larry Arizona said,

    April 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I hope I can get close to that. Beautiful!

  2. April 21, 2011 at 3:20 am

    I love the white one too! Just gorgeous. I didn’t know that grasshoppers ate amaryllis. I haven’t tried growing them in the garden, only in pots.

  3. garden mary said,

    April 21, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Always thought of these as winter flowers. You are lucky to be able to grow them outside and have them come back year after year. Appleblossom certainly is a perfect spring color.

  4. April 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Oh, my gosh… to live in a spot where Appleblossoms can thrive out in the garden?!? I’m green, green, green with envy. And, filled with admiration. Just lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  5. karen said,

    November 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

    i live in vero beach florida and can’t seem to get my amaryllis to go dormant so that they might rebloom again. any suggestions? despite removing them from the garden in september and placing in pots in the house (to allow for drying out/dormancy) the leaves remain green and growing even after being cut back. i’d love these to bloom again, but this is the second yr in a row with the same problem. thanks for any help!

    • Jan said,

      November 4, 2011 at 5:06 am

      Karen, one thing that comes to mind is to make sure that you are not planting the bulbs too deeply. Amaryllis should be planted with about a third of the bulb exposed. If you have been doing that, I think I might start bringing them in to dry in August. Mine are planted in the ground and do not bloom at Christmas, but do bloom well in the spring, their normal bloom time. Have you tried planting them in the ground? It may be that it is difficult to force them to bloom again for the winter, and you may have to buy new ones each year for forcing and just enjoy the ones in the garden in the spring.


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