Sunday, December 18, 2011

Open Up

'Tis the season for amaryllis bulbs! They're incredibly popular (if misnamed - they're really hippeastrum) at Christmas, since these bulbs are prepped by the growers so they will begin to bloom just a few weeks after the recipient receives them. We bought a new one around Thanksgiving - Hippeastrum papilio, Butterfly Amaryllis. It started sending up a flower stalk almost immediately after being planted, and started to open this weekend.

We watched it eagerly, waiting for the spectacular blooms to appear. This hippeastrum is very popular because of its unusual coloration, a lime green color shot through with deep red. And the bloom doesn't disappoint. In fact, even thought its not quite done opening, we just couldn't wait to share it with you.

The bulb is already sending up a second flower stalk, and beginning to produce leaves as well. When it's done flowering, we'll probably move it outside to a partly shaded spot and let it return to its natural blooming cycle. In this climate, hippeastrum tends to bloom in late February or early March, so it will probably be about 14 months before we see the bloom again.

We think it will be worth the wait. Hippeastrum bulbs can be expensive - this one was $15 - but they're truly investments if you care for them properly. In a few years, this bulb will begin to produce baby offshoots, and over time we may have dozens of these beauties in My Florida Backyard. That's worth the money, in our eyes!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it is spectacular. Having never grown Hippies before, I'm starting to get interested after viewing so many fabulous varieties in the virtual world.