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Promises, Promises: GBBD, February 2020

February 16, 2020

apple blossom openingFor weeks, several of my potted amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs have been promising to provide winter blooms as an antidote to the snowy landscape outdoors. In my cool winter house, the flowers are slow to develop inside their buds, and the stems get very tall during this process. I was amazed one year, when I went away for the holidays and left several potted bulbs in the care of a co-worker who kept them in her overheated office, to come back in early January and find that they were already blooming – and on much shorter stems.

Today, the flowers on Hippeastrum ‘Apple Blossom’ finally opened, making good on the promise of those buds. This is a beautiful flower, well worth the wait, and I love the fact that its pollen is pink.

apple blossom flower apple blossom anthers

This bud only contained two flowers, instead of the usual four, which probably means that it is time for me to repot the bulb into some fresh soil. While I enjoy the flowers of ‘Apple Blossom,’ I am keeping an eye on the developing buds of ‘Charisma,’ ‘Red Lion,’ and ‘Green Goddess,’ all of which should open in the weeks to come.

amaryllis buds 2020

Meanwhile, my faithful potted cyclamen continue to bloom their hearts out.

cyclamen february 2020

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see other gardeners’ February blooms.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Joani permalink
    February 16, 2020 8:08 pm


    • February 24, 2020 7:50 pm

      I find it a lot of work to get repeat blooms from an amaryllis bulb, but they’re so beautiful when they bloom, that I forget about all the effort. 😉

  2. Kris Peterson permalink
    February 16, 2020 9:54 pm

    It’s interesting that the Amaryllis stems grow longer and flower later under cooler conditions. Next year, I’ll have to try timing the differences between one grown in the house and those grown in my shade house. In prior circumstances, I’ve noticed that those I’ve planted in the ground bloom substantially later than those grown in pots. Unfortunately, I’ve had a harder time getting them to naturalize in my current garden than I did in my former garden. I’m going to try planting out this year’s bloomed out bulbs in different spots to see if I’ll be luckier next year.

    • February 24, 2020 7:52 pm

      Kris, Slower flower development and longer stems in cooler temperatures is my hypothesis from my observations. I’ll be interested in hearing whether your own observations bear this out.

  3. February 16, 2020 11:19 pm

    Looking at incredible shots of your Amaryllis ,I am getting desperate for my Amaryllis blooms that will take a month more to come into blooms.

    • February 24, 2020 7:54 pm

      Arun, In any given year, only about one-third of mine make flowers, so I’m always watching them looking for signs of a flower bud. One of the bulbs that will bloom in the next couple of weeks (‘Green Goddess’) last bloomed for me 8 years ago.

  4. February 17, 2020 1:13 pm

    This is one of the few bulbs that I would actually enjoy forcing in the home again. They get eaten be snails in the garden. Those that do best in the garden are not as pretty as those that are grown as houseplants. Amaryllis belladonna grows wild, but is not as satisfying as the humongous sorts that get forced.

    • February 17, 2020 3:42 pm

      That is the difference between Hippeastrum (cultivated in many varieties) and Cape’s Amaryllis belladonna which is a quite different plant.

      • February 17, 2020 9:18 pm

        I have never bothered to force the Amaryllis belladonna. I am none too keen on the color anyway. They are just fine out in the garden. Crinum became popular in the neighborhood in the past few years, but I don’t know what to think of them. They are nothing like Hippeastrum either.

      • February 24, 2020 7:57 pm

        This is one of the confusing situations when the common name of one plant is the botanical genus name of a different plant (albeit in the same family). In the United States, the plants we commonly call “geraniums” are actually Pelargonium, and plants in the genus Geranium are most often called by the common name ‘Cranesbill.’

  5. February 18, 2020 3:03 am

    I love Hippeastrum “Apple Blossom” since it was the first (and only) one that we had. I never managed to make it repeat-flower. It’s interesting how a cooler environment makes for a longer stem as well. We bought some more Hyacinths to make up for the lack of flowers but looking outside the window, I can see dots of deep reds and pinks on the Camellias as they’re beginning to open!

    • February 24, 2020 7:59 pm

      Sunil, I sometimes buy potted hyacinth bulbs just to have something blooming indoors while I wait (not so patiently) for spring to arrive. I’m still 4-6 weeks away from outdoor flowers, but I still have several Hippeastrum varieties to enjoy. ‘Charisma’ will probably begin opening its flowers tomorrow.

  6. February 22, 2020 2:37 pm

    Nice Amaryllis!

    • February 24, 2020 8:00 pm

      Thanks, Jason. Easy to see why this one is a favorite for so many people.

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