All about the Amaryllis Plant
The amaryllis is a very unique flower that is stunningly beautiful. There are only two flowers in the amaryllis species, and both are native to South Africa. The amaryllis we commonly see around the holidays is actually part of the genus Hippeastrum in the Amaryllidaceae family, and is grown in many parts of the world. The flower itself is trumpet-shaped, and the colour of the petals actually comes from the veins of the flower, which are red.
Description of the Amaryllis Plant
Most people know the amaryllis by different names, such as the Belladonna Lily (which is one of the two types of amaryllis). However, the plant most often sold in flower shops is just called amaryllis. They start as bulbs and grow to be around 2-3 feet tall, with large trumpet-like blooms appearing in a variety of colours. Red, white, and pink are the most common colours available, but you can also occasionally find the plants in purple and peach. When looking for amaryllis plants in flower shops and garden centers, you will often see them being sold as bulbs or green stalks with tall leaves, and occasionally they will already be in bloom.
Growing the Amaryllis Plant
Although this flower grows in very specific places throughout the world, it is actually not difficult to grow. Amaryllis has been grown in North America since the 18th century, though the flower takes much patience to grow as the reproduction process is very slow. It will take a few years of cultivation for them to reach their peak, but the beauty of amaryllis flowers is well worth the wait. Amaryllis can be purchased as bulbs and planted in pots around an inch larger than the bulb. Make sure half of the bulb is above the potting medium, water it thoroughly, and place it in a sunny spot. Once the bulb starts to change colour, move the bulb to a shady location and fertilize it regularly.
Uses for the Amaryllis Plant
The amaryllis flower is planted not only for its unique style and exotic beauty, but more so for its convenient peak growing season. Amaryllis plants generally bloom mid-winter, making them perfect gifts not only for Christmas in their stunning red and white hues, but also for Valentine’s Day. They also add a much needed liveliness to any indoor landscape, when many other flowers are done for the season.