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How to grow amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers are colorful in the middle of winter making them popular plants for the Christmas season. The tropical bulb does not have to be composted when the bloom fade, in fact it can be planted in the garden with your other summer flowers.

In a natural cycle the amaryllis will bloom in spring or early summer and is happy to revert to that if you are in a frost free area. Those who are in cooler zones have to winter over the bulbs inside.

When your Christmas bloom has faded, cut the flower stalk off. Most seasonal plants are in a pretty container that is not meant for permanent growth, so repot your amaryllis into a regular plant pot that has a hole for drainage. Use a light potting mix and plant the bulb so that the top one third of the bulb is above the soil line. Water lightly and place in a warm, light location. When you are past your last frost and the weather has settled into a warm pattern, plant the bulb into the garden. Of course, if you prefer, you can keep the bulb in a container instead of planting in the garden.

When early fall arrives, well before the first frost, the upper leaves turn brown and the bulb can be repotted to bring inside. Trim all the leaves off the bulb and place into a cool location for a few weeks to keep it dormant. By October you can bring the plant out of dormancy to start growing again and produce the flower for your winter holiday table. If you prefer, you can keep the bulb cool and dry for the whole winter and replant next spring, after the danger of frost has passed, and wait for it to produce an early summer flower.

Read the next Article: Growing Hardy Kiwi

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Everyone knows lawn clippings, dead leaves and vegetable scraps can be tossed on to the compost pile to ultimately become rich organic matter for enhancing garden soil. But did you know there is a long list of other materials that will enhance a compost pile? Try tossing the following organic recyclables onto the compost heap:
    • dryer lint (especially from cotton towels, sheets and clothing)
    • dog or cat fur (great for owners of golden retrievers!)
    • cereal and cracker boxes (take out the wax paper liner, rip cardboard into strips and moisten before adding to compost pile)
    • shredded newspaper
    • ground corn stalks
    • wood chips
    • sawdust
    • rinsed seaweed
    • guinea pig or hamster manure (plus natural-material bedding)
    Never compost dog or cat waste, bones, oil, grease, fat, invasive weeds, wheat with seeds or wood ashes.