Monday, January 26, 2009

Play 'Misty' For Me


Close your eyes and picture in your mind an amaryllis. It very likely will be red, with large petals and white anthers whose ends are covered with yellow pollen. It might be 'Red Lion.' You know the one - during the Christmas season you can find it most anywhere. It's beautiful, and deservedly popular.

But there is much more to the world of Hippeastrums. They originated in Central and South America, and later were introduced to Europe by the Dutch bulb masters. Some of the Dutch growers moved to South Africa and continued their industry there. All the while, cross-breeding was taking place with many different types of bulbs - Single, Double, Miniature, Cybister, and Trumpet. Today, there are over 600 hybrids and cultivars.

'Misty' is a trumpet amaryllis, with smaller flowers that resemble the trumpet lilies. I have had this bulb for three years now, and it has bloomed each one of those years. In order for a bulb to produce a flower scape, it must grow at least four large, healthy leaves during the summer growing season.

I plant my bulbs in a separate garden for the summer and basically forget about them, except for fertilizing them about once a month. If we've not had a lot of rain, I will water them.

In September, as night temperatures cool, I dig them up, cut the leaves off and put them in the basement for a couple of months or more, until it's time to pot them up again. Once in awhile, they will bloom in the summer garden.


Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful bloom, Kylee! Wonderful color.

Anonymous said...


Great pics and great post.
I've bookmarked this one for future reference and sent it along to a friend. Thank you for a delightful treasure of a post.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

My daughter had a neighbor that planted out her amaryllis every summer and got the most beautiful show. I don't know what variety it was but the show was spectacular.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Misty is a winner in my gardening book! I like Amaryllis with many albeit smaller flowers the best.

F Cameron said...

I'm always intrigued with Amaryllis, but have never tried to grow one. One day...


Rose said...

I am STILL waiting for a bloom on my amaryllis, Kylee! Thank you for this info--this is my first amaryllis, and I didn't know if I could keep it after it blooms. Now I'll see if it will grow in my garden.

I just read Cameron's post and then saw your post from Sunday about the PBS special on the Monarchs. I'm going now to set the DVR so I don't forget.

Kathy said...

I never knew four leaves was the magic number to get rebloom. I did know they need lots of sun and fertilizer for best results.

Wayne Stratz said...

I love that jazz tune, and the flower is cool too. I will try putting the ones I have out this summer... any sun requirements?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful color! I always thought that all Amaryllis were red too but the range of colors they come in now are glorious. 'Misty' is a winner!

Shady Gardener said...

Kylee, it's hard to sit still knowing I've still nine (9!) nice big amaryllis bulbs just resting quietly in our basement. Next year I'm bringing them in way before the end of October!!! ;-) Beautiful flower, indeed!

kate smudges said...

I love the way 'Misty' looks ... you've photographed it beautifully. It's great that it has rebloomed consistently for you!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Oh wow! It DOES look like a trumpet lily doesn't it? So cool! The pink is divine!


Unknown said...

I have been sadly amaryllis-less this year, as I didn't treat mine right this summer and they succumbed to drowning/freezing and other bulb-abuse. And no one got me one for Christmas or my birthday. Sigh. There's always next year.......and I get to enjoy yours via photos, of course.

Kylee Baumle said...

Nancy ~ It's such a delicate, refined amaryllis, with a raspberry color and striations. I'd like to find more of them, but haven't been able to.

David ~ Thanks, David. I don't mess too much with my photos, but the original of the first one was just begging. I used another effect that lightens the edges which is pretty, too. I'll post that one on Facebook.

Hippeastrums are probably what I would consider my "signature plant." I always want more...

Lisa ~ Yes, they are quite fabulous when they bloom in the ground. I will likely get a few blooms in the ground this summer. I have several species Hippeastrums that have never bloomed yet, but they were small when I got them. Maybe they'll be large enough to bloom this summer!

Yolanda Elizabet ~ I'm picturing 'Jewel,' when you speak of small with more flowers. I hear there are some Japanese doubles that are fabulous, but I've not seen any yet.

Cameron ~ Oh Cameron! What are you waiting for? There's nothing easier that gives such a fabulous show!

Rose ~ Yes, you can save it! Let the foliage die back naturally, then store it in a cool location until it's warm enough in the spring to plant it out.

Did you watch the Monarch special?

Kathy ~ I didn't know that either, but Wikipedia says so (link provided) and I read it somewhere else awhile back that I can't remember.

Wayne ~ They like sun, but not too hot of sun, so if it can be in shade for the hottest part of the day, it's better. It won't kill them, but the foliage can get burned. They need mostly sun though and I have mine in full sun except none after about 4:00 pm or so, when they are in the shade of the apple tree. They do get burned a bit, but that's okay. They are in their own little bed by the compost pile. If one starts looking like it's going to bloom, I'll pot it up and bring it up by the house until it's done, then I return it to the ground.

Racquel ~ There are so many - too many - and I want them all!

Shady ~ Pot them up now! I just potted some up last week!

Kate ~ Thanks! I've had a couple of new bulbs this year that started putting up a flower scape and then it shriveled. 'White Peacock' was one. I was disappointed, but I'll beef it up this summer so I'll hopefully have a nice double white bloom next winter!

Cindy ~ I really do love this one. It's just a little different than typical amaryllis.

jodi ~ Oh no! And you really could have used that cheer in December, too. :-( Well, at least you know it's due to something you did. Those darn Meconopsis were so ungrateful to the wonderful care I gave them!

Shady ~

Gardeness said...

Wonderful pics and informative post, as always. I'm filing this away as a must have. Thanks.

A wildlife gardener said...

Wonderful blooms. In Britain we grow ours in pots indoors at this time of year. they are wonderful for children as they grow quickly and they can see the amazing grow on a daily basis :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kylee, what a service you have done for those who want to rebloom their bulbs, and you make it sound so easy too. Misty is a beauty and how cool to have it bloom in summer sometimes. I keep trying to find the ones that are hardy here, I know there is one, and have planted the blood lilies that were ordered from Texas in hopes of achieving that elusive goal.

ps, daughter Semi loved the link with the sprouts in the sweater! Thanks!

Jan said...

Kylee, I do love the amaryllis you feature here. Thanks for the great info. here, also. I have overwintered mine several times, and it has bloomed the next year with no problem. But I have NEVER planted it in the ground outside and I've never had it rebloom in the summer!! And your weather is cooler than what I have here in VA. So I suppose it's possible for me too, if I'd just pay more attention to the process! How interesting:)

Brenda Pruitt said...

I had one planted outside and forgot to bring it in. Thought it would be okay, since we have such mild winters. I'm doubtful about that now. Just sitting out there, not growing from where it was snipped back. Doing nothing.

Kerri said...

Misty is a star! Love the color and your photos.
Do you just store the bulbs in a paper bag or something in the basement?
Thanks for the info.
My 2 bulbs are going to be blooming very soon. Can't wait!
The 3 in a container further down, that are 'going to the island with you', are spectacular :) No wonder you love amaryllis so much.
Thanks for that link to the butterfly migration video. I didn't know about it, so appreciate the info, and will love watching it.

Kylee Baumle said...

Gardeness ~ I guess you can tell I love my amaryllis? ;-)

A wildlife gardener ~ Yes, we grow them in pots during the winter here, too. That's where mine are right now. They would never survive our winters outside. Isn't it amazing how fast they grow? You really can see a measurable distance day to day.

Frances ~ If I can get mine to rebloom, anyone can! I really don't do anything all that special, either. They are outside in their own area and I truly don't pay much attention to them at all. In fact, last spring Romie made a small raised bed just for them, next to the compost bins, because they aren't that attractive in the summer. The leaves grow so tall they fall over and wind will damage them and the sun can burn them a bit. For me, it's all about letting them grow the bulbs bigger for winter flowering. But like I said, now and then one will surprise me and bloom in the garden. Here is a link to a blog post of one that did that.
That sweater was hilarious, wasn't it? LOL

Jan ~ Check out the link I posted for Frances just above. I'm sure it could happen for you, too! The other thing I've noticed is when they're in the ground, they tend to produce baby bulblets. Bonus! :-)

Brenda ~ Oh dear. Well, I would check the bulb. If it's good and solid, not soft or mushy, you might be surprised. If it's soft, you might as well compost it. Let me know! I'm hoping it's solid!

Kerri ~ Yes, I store them in either a paper bag, or just loose in a set of plastic drawers I got at Walmart. You can see the drawers in the "Houseplant" post.
Did you watch the Monarch video yet? If so, wasn't it wonderful? I just love this amazing butterfly!

Kylee Baumle said...

Oh, Kerri, I forgot to mention - you might notice that I leave those plastic drawers open a bit so they get some air and don't get moldy.

Gail said...

I've wondered how to take care of them after they bloom...thank you! It is a really lovely flower...i like the simplicity of the 'trumpet' bloom. gail

Anonymous said...

How lovely. I have seen this particular one on the internet and wondered if it was a pretty as it looked. Since I am looking for more pink amaryllis, I just may get this one.

Always Growing

Kylee Baumle said...

Gail ~ They aren't difficult or demanding, so give it a go!

Jan ~ 'Misty' is a different sort of amaryllis than you typically think of, but the striations and its stature are elegant and charming. It's one of my favorites.

MyMaracas said...

I've had amaryllis, but have never been successful in getting them to rebloom. I'll have to try your method. That is a beautiful variety, and your photos are lovely.

EAL said...

That's a pretty one! I have a white amaryllis blooming now and Appleblossom to come.

I also have 3 red ones. Sometimes I move them outside in their pots; sometimes I don't. They generally will rebloom.

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