In the Garden:
Northern & Central Midwest
February, 2009
Regional Report

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This lovely double amaryllis is amazing with five flowers at a time!

I Love My Amaryllis!

My amaryllis was a Christmas gift and it just came into bloom. I had no idea it was a double, so what a wonderful surprise! These immense bulbs are absolute treasures, just waiting for someone to give them water and a warm pot to bring them into lovely activity.

For years, I kicked myself for forgetting and leaving my sleeping bulbs until spring, but it's become such a routine that I actually plan it that way now. I bring up the pots of bulbs from the basement in May and by mid-June I have breathtaking tropical bulbs blooming all over my patio.

Cluster Amaryllis Bulbs
I had actually acquired so many that I put them all in a huge terra cotta pot and they tag-teamed with blossoms for almost two months. After they were finished, I had a huge pot of strappy attractive foliage to show off some low, small pots of annual peach geraniums for the rest of the summer.

Favorite Summer Bulbs
Now I'm onto something. I tried several different kinds of summer bulbs last year, such as the clear pink 'San Remo' amaryllis, and probably my favorite, 'Sulphur Queen' hymenocallis. The hymenocallis was elegantly fragrant in addition to being uniquely shaped.

Plant In-Ground or in Pots
There is nothing quite so exciting as tucking the bulbs into the garden, either in pots or the ground, and then being surprised a month later when they come into bloom. This year I plan to order several more types of summer-blooming bulbs and continue my quest for uniqueness and added beauty for my garden and patio.

Culture Tips
The only requirement that most of these large summer bulbs have is to be fertilized regularly during the growing season. They need the fertilizer to help return energy to the bulb after flowering, just as the hardy bulbs need it. Before frost threatens, they should be lifted and dried down for winter storage. I've had great luck simply keeping them in a dry, quite cool basement, either in soil or laying in an open basket.

Bring into Bloom
When May rolls around, I bring them up, replace at least an inch of soil with fresh potting soil if they are in pots or pot them up. I keep them fairly cool as I begin watering, and as soon as I see growth begin, I move them to a warm spot. They are ready to get hardened off for the garden as soon as the threat of frost has passed. It doesn't get much easier than this for absolutely delicious blossoms in summer.


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