Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Tune Up for My Amaryllis

Back before Christmas I began looking into the old cupboard in the garage to see how the pots of amaryllis were faring on their road to dormancy. I grabbed a few and threw them in a bag, brought them home, and then shoved them under the table because suddenly I had people coming over! And in that bag under the table they have remained until yesterday.

Now it sounds much more cruel than it actually is for the sleeping bulbs. They thrive on benign neglect. Sort of. As I was cleaning them up last night I realized I hadn't re potted, or even added new soil, to any of these pots for at least three years. Some of them, I'm afraid, had never been top dressed at all! These are the things a lazy gardener does. I mean, they grow so nicely all Summer long, the last thing I think they need in the Winter is to have little more attention than a good watering. They (almost) always perform for me, so the least I could do is to give them some new dirt to help energize these guys! Right? 

Man, sometimes I'm a real jerk to my plants.

And here they are! Direct from their bag kicked beneath the dining room table. Everyone needed cleaned up a bit, from the leaves in the dirt to the layers of papery skin surrounding the bulbs.

This one is already giving a sliver of hope. A new leaf pushing up signals the bulb is already awake. The others we will have to water and then wait and see. If no signs of growth occur in three weeks or so you can try to water again, but not before that unless leaves begin to grow.

This poor little dude had some of the worst soil ever. He was, however, still showing patches of green. He's still alive!

I completely re potted him. I trimmed the roots a bit, too. Another one was still in the planting medium they come with when you buy them in the plastic pots. You know, the kind that "grows" in water? I'm saying it was one that was new last year, even if I haven't used those peat pellet type things in years.
Much better. The pots are clean, the soil is refreshed, and the gravel makes everything tidy. Now to sit back and wait. Sometimes they bloom for me during the winter, and sometimes they surprise me by blooming in the summer. Either way I'm happy. I should probably try to remember to grab the rest of the pots from the garage this weekend.

This Christmas Story amaryllis sent up two stalks. This second one became rather wonky and fell over a bit. I cut the stem and have been enjoying the pure white blooms for over a week now, with one bud only beginning to open. They certainly brighten the gloomiest of Winter days.