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Amaryllis: Barbados for the Holidays

If you’re new to growing amaryllis let Barbados inspire you. No, I’m not talking about the Caribbean Island, but the perfect winter pick me up. A NEW and simply beautiful amaryllis, Barbados bursts forth with magnificently deep velvety red blooms. Each petal has a clear white center stripe emerging from the flower’s chartreuse throat, creating a brilliant starry effect. In the best colours for the holidays, it’s simply exquisite and sparkling.

Show stopping amaryllis blooms are exceptionally rewarding and easy to grow. Once you’ve purchased your bulb, you’ll need to select a pot. At this time of year there are so many decorative pots available, choose one that is fairly heavy, that won’t easily tip under the weight of fully open flower heads. Barbados is known for large blooms, and there can be at least 4-5 flowers per stem. The pot should also have a drainage hole to allow excess water to escape and protect the bulb’s roots.

Amaryllis enjoy being pot bound. For an individual bulb, a 15-20 cm (6-8”) diameter pot, at least 15-20 cm (6-8”) deep is good sized. The rim of the pot should be no more than 5 cm (2”) away from the bulb’s rounded shoulder.

Amaryllis 'Barbados'
Amaryllis 'Barbados'

If you’re new to growing amaryllis let Barbados inspire you. No, I’m not talking about the Caribbean Island, but the perfect winter pick me up. A NEW and simply beautiful amaryllis, Barbados bursts forth with magnificently deep velvety red blooms. Each petal has a clear white center stripe emerging from the flower’s chartreuse throat, creating a brilliant starry effect. In the best colours for the holidays, it’s simply exquisite and sparkling.

Amaryllis 'Barbados'
Amaryllis 'Barbados'

Show stopping amaryllis blooms are exceptionally rewarding and easy to grow. Once you’ve purchased your bulb, you’ll need to select a pot. At this time of year there are so many decorative pots available, choose one that is fairly heavy, that won’t easily tip under the weight of fully open flower heads. Barbados is known for large blooms, and there can be at least 4-5 flowers per stem. The pot should also have a drainage hole to allow excess water to escape and protect the bulb’s roots.

Amaryllis enjoy being pot bound. For an individual bulb, a 15-20 cm (6-8”) diameter pot, at least 15-20 cm (6-8”) deep is good sized. The rim of the pot should be no more than 5 cm (2”) away from the bulb’s rounded shoulder.

Cover the drainage holes with pebbles and fill the pot halfway with potting soil. There should be room for 8-10 cm (3-4”) of potting soil under the bulb.

Plant the bulb so that the neck and rounded shoulders sit above the soil. This is about the top third of the bulb. Add potting soil gently around the roots and the base of the bulb. Tamp down the soil and water the soil surface thoroughly, but avoid getting water on the bulb. Place the potted bulb in a warm sunlit indoor location by day 21°C (70°F), where it’s also a little cooler at night.

Amaryllis Bulb & Pot
Amaryllis Bulb & Pot
Amaryllis Into The Pot
Amaryllis Into The Pot
Potted Amaryllis Bulb
Potted Amaryllis Bulb

You won’t need to water very much until active green growth appears, usually within a few weeks. Waiting for the bud and stem is always the hardest part. I’m always filled with expectation, hope, and anticipation when I see a bit of green emerging from the neck of the bulb. Check the soil surface with your fingertips – it should be slightly damp. When the soil feels dry to the touch, water sparingly, no more than once a week. As soon as the bud and stem appear, your amaryllis will need more frequent watering. Be sure to check the soil surface more often.

Amaryllis quickly grow towards the light and stems can reach heights of 45 cm (18”.) It may seem that right before your eyes, your amaryllis is growing. You can encourage upright growth by turning the pot every few days.

When the bud releases, flowers often appear tightly held and green. Watch the colour flow into the petals as they unfold. One at a time, 4-5 breathtaking trumpet shaped blooms fully open at the top of the stem. If exposed to direct sunlight and heat these gorgeous blooms can wither, so move your amaryllis to a cooler and more shaded position in the home. This will help extend the blooming which can last several days to a week. If necessary, stake and support the stem under the incredibly full flower heads.

Amaryllis season is from late October through the end of April, with blooming from winter to spring.  For late December and January blooms, plant bulbs in late October and early November. You can find Amaryllis Barbados and discover other fabulous varieties at your favorite local garden centre.

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