So I'm organizing a boxes of garden books to review and I look down into another box to see this 'Sweet Nymph' amaryllis pushing its bud through the bag it was shipped in. I meant to plant them a month ago, but never got to it. This plant wasn't going to wait!
I was sent three bulbs to try from Longfield Gardens. First impression of 'Sweet Nymph' is that it might be unstoppable. The other two amaryllis bulbs are 'Cherry Nymph' and 'White Nymph,' are still dormant.
Amaryllis are one of the easiest plants to grow and make great gifts for gardeners. They can be bought already planted in a nice pot or the bulb itself can be purchased alone.
They offer some of the most beautiful flowers for the holiday season. For the first season the bulb has everything in it that the flower needs. Just give it a little water and the flowers will come.
The job of the gardener is to treat the plant right to get blooms next season. I've got about a 50/50 record for re-blooming. I never throw them away and they will bloom when they are happy. Sometimes that's every year, sometimes it takes three.
After the plant is done blooming remove the flower stalk leaving the tall, floppy foliage. Grow it as a houseplant all winter and start fertilizing in March. Mid-May it goes outside in the shade. Sometimes transplanting to a pot one size bigger will help. Keep feeding the plant every couple weeks through the season.
In August stop all watering and fertilization and bring the amaryllis back inside. I put mine down in the basement for six to eight weeks until they go into dormancy. The leaves will turn brown, which feeds the bulb. Then bring the plant back to the windowsill add a little water and hope for buds to emerge.
I rarely get them to bloom at Christmas, but anytime they flower, it's wonderful. Usually it's about being too busy at the end of the season and not getting them into dormancy fast enough. Others never make it outside, are forgotten about and bloom after given a little water.
Here's a look at 'Sweet Nymph' planted right after I discovered it. I'll post a picture when it blooms. It will be interesting to see if the stalk will straighten. Another fun gardening experiment!