By Louie Tonry
Amaryllis is one of my favorite plants. They have beautiful blooms that grow to be 4” to 8”. Many varieties exist producing blooms in red, white, pink, and many others.
Knowing how to grow and care for these plants will ensure continued enjoyment year after year.
Grown from bulbs, Amaryllis may be planted indoors or outdoors. They’re semi-tropical native to Central and South America. Bulbs need a little protection during Texas winters; only a few inches of mulch to keep the bulbs from freezing will do.
Amaryllis bulbs come in various sizes. The best bulbs are large, firm, and dry with no signs of mold, decay, or injury. Plant outside in fall or in spring after the last frost. Growing in full to partial sun, they’re good plants to put along a fence line or just to add color to your existing gardens.
Plant the bulbs with the neck and shoulder slightly above the surface. Don’t damage any roots on the bottom of the bulb. Loosen the soil and place the bulb in the dirt, then water them in to tighten the soil.
Amaryllis don’t need a lot of water so will grow well in our climate. During periods of no rain, watering once a week should be ample.
When the bulbs start to grow, a green stalk will poke out of the bulb turning into leaves as the plant develops. In a month or so, a tall, central stalk eventually develops into a beautiful bloom.
After the bloom dies, cut the central stem at the top of the bulb; don’t cut the leaves. The leaves produce energy for the bulb to store for the next growing season. At the end of the season, cut off withered leaves. The bulbs can be dug up or left in the ground. If left in the garden, cover them with 3” of mulch to protect the bulbs from potential frost.
If you dig the bulbs, brush off any remaining dirt and store them in a dry cool area over the winter, perhaps in the garage.
DCMGA Annual Plant Sale
Select from a wide variety of Texas native plants, tough as nails perennials, no-fuss roses, and hard-to-find ground cover plants at our annual plant sale. Plants grown by Master Gardeners are also available. Master Gardeners will be on-hand to help you select plants and answer your gardening questions. The event is Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. (or sell out) at Trinity United Methodist Church-Denton, 633 Hobson Ln Denton, TX 76205.
Join us for these other fantastic educational gardening events in April: Rainwater & Rain Barrel Demonstration, Composting, Children’s Garden, and Gardening as a Therapeutic Resource. Visit our website for details: dcmga.com/upcoming-events-2-2022