Fickle and Faithful Winter Blooms: GBBD, January 2013
Like many who garden in cold climates, I depend on houseplants for flowers during the months when my garden is snoozing under its blanket of snow. My favorite winter blooms are those of amaryllis (Hippeastrum). I love their huge, dramatic, colorful flowers; and for years, I bought one each Christmas from the supermarket or a big box store. It would bloom beautifully and then languish from neglect.
Last year, I was inspired by those who keep their Hippeastrum bulbs blooming year after year to reform my bulb neglect ways. I bought several high-quality bulbs from Brent and Becky’s, enjoyed their flowers from Christmas until March, and then carefully followed instructions to fertilize them once a week while their leaves developed. I put them away in the dark in late summer and took them out 8-10 weeks later. And what was the reward for all my love and attention? Lots of foliage and not a single flower bud! Apparently it’s not enough to lavish love and attention on these plants; they are fickle and may or may not return that love. Or maybe they’re just too finicky to be kept happy in the cool temperatures of my house in winter.
|Thank goodness for cyclamen, which thrive in just those conditions. All these plants ask of me is a cool window ledge and once a week watering. In return, they bloom faithfully for months on end and never disappoint.|
I haven’t given up on my Hippeastrum bulbs; I still have hopes that my fickle friends will grace me with flowers in February or March. Meanwhile, I’ll drink in the beauty of the faithful cyclamen.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what’s in bloom this month in indoor and outdoor gardens around the globe.