How to plant and grow Amaryllis

Watch as Sarah shares her top tips for planting and growing amaryllis, as well as discussing her favourite varieties

I can’t resist showing you this incredible amaryllis its got this lovely soft green base, and its as if its been stippled with crimson pigment it’s just absolutely deliciously beautiful, I completely love it. 

And what we’ve got is three bulbs in a pot which look so much nicer than just single bulbs I think, and then just this lovely crazy nest of a willow that we grow lots of here called Nancy Sanders which I with the little pussy willows coming out and so to cheer your life in January, February march what could be nicer. 

Amaryllis or hippeastrum is there Latin name urm are one of those things that urm we associate with Christmas and you can force them into flower for Christmas, actually in the wild they naturally flower at easter so you can have them really in flower in your house from sort of end of November, December, January, February, march, april and the great thing is you must store your bulbs, the bigger the bulb the longer its going to be throwing out flowering stems.

So the key thing with amaryllis is to save your bulbs, don’t bin them when they’ve gone over, save them, keep them, urm water them until about June, let them dry off and bring them into flower the following, that autumn and what you get then is bigger girth, more flower stems and usually an extra flower head per stem so you just get better value every time you store them and what you’ve got here and you can just see that these are all planted slightly oddly in a way there planted proud of the compost. 

So, the bulbs is a quarter or a third above the compost surface and that’s really important because these come from warm places and they rot if you water into here, so you always water into the compost and allow it to drain out the bottom and then throw that water out and don’t let it sit in standing water because that will rot the bulb very easily.

But otherwise, they are incredibly simple to look after they quite like steady heat like this that you get from a radiator this where it is sort of in the light but not bright light because that makes them go over quickly. So this shelf in our classroom couldn’t be better. 

In terms of variety these are my favourite at the moment, I absolutely love this one called ‘Lemon Star’ which can you see in the throat its really lovely and sort of limey lemony green so its got an ivory base and then a green wash over it and it makes a fabulous cut flower too which lasts about three weeks in the vase it really does and they have a hollow stem, and if you cut them longer I actually tend to put a bamboo cane up that hollow because that stem, because its hollow tends to collapse and crack earlier than the follows but honestly I picked this 3 weeks ago already and you can see its just going on and on. And so, they all make beautiful cut flowers and only did that one to be honest because it collapsed and broke its stem from a pot otherwise it’s a bit of a shame to pick them.

And then we’ve got three different reds here of different saturation so this is the brightest which is called ‘Royal Velvet’ and I’m not so very keen on those sort of pillar box red ones but this is a corker cause its got enough crimson over it stop it being pillar box and its very tall and so that’s why you know that’s real beauty and look pretty good at you know its not even supported quite upstanding. 

This is a shorter one, one tone deeper called ‘Carmen’ urm shorter, big flowers urm again absolutely luscious and then the darkest of all which is actually going over now so its not looking its best you can see quite petite smaller flower heads and actually I’m gonna I’m gonna take that off cause its going over and there’s another one there at the back and that’s what you do as they go over you just individually remove the heads and that one’s called ‘Mandela’ that’s a brand new one and I love its delicacy actually, I love the fact that its got the smaller head and I tend to have that like in my bedroom or something. And the other thing that’s beautiful about that its got this crimson wash over the leaf and over the bud and that continues urm and you can see on the stem there it continues that lovely crimson wash so I think Mandela’s a really lovely new variety that I I want to watch and then again we just finishing again with ‘Tosca’ urm and so this array has really cheered me up over the winter and it looks like it’s set to cheer me up or another couple of months at least.