One sign spring is here is my amaryllis plantings are
coming in bloom. I have some in the ground but a majority
are in containers that can be moved to displays on the
windowsills and patio. It's one plant I can count on for
good spring color. But not all gardeners are successful.
Picture: Tom MacCubbin
It seems you need the amaryllis that grows in Florida.
Many years ago there were several farmers growing
amaryllis in the Orlando area. I am sure some beds from
bulbs of those plantings still exist today. Also Ted Mead,
for whom Mead Gardens in Winter Park is named, had a
collection. Randy Knight on our Saturday 7 to 9 AM radio
program discussed these plantings. He is helping with the
plantings at the Gardens and is trying to locate the older
varieties and wants to restore them to a collection at
Mead Gardens. I am sure if you have any amaryllis known to
be of the original collections he would love to hear from
My plantings just grow with the other
container and in ground ornamentals. The container plants
do get extra waterings and feedings when I remember. One
thing I like to do is grow more plants from the seed
heads. It is easy to do. When the seed heads form just
save the seeds and sow them in a good potting mix. They
germinate in about a week or two. Then I eventually pot
them up. I have lots. The seeds also disperse in the
landscape and start on their own. I now have amaryllis
where I never planted the bulbs.
bulbs do not seem to flower that well locally. I find, if
you keep the plants on the dry side during the fall so
they take a rest, they seem to do best. The rest of the
year, keep them moist but not wet and feed lightly every 6
to 8 weeks and they do fine.
For the reluctant
bloomers the University of Florida suggests digging the
bulbs in October and letting them rest out of the ground
for 6 to 8 weeks and then replant. This seems to give them
a hint that maybe they should flower.