We're one month past Christmas. I think that's enough time to pass for me to officially declare that my PaperWhites are a failure. No blooms at all. I bought them in early November - a week-plus ahead of when we traditionally buy and start our Amaryllis bulbs. But...here's the key (I think): I bought them from the orange big box store . I planted them as directed: in gravel. And watered them in up to the middle of the bulbs. They responded immediately. And strongly. With a thick, dense and vibrant root mat that came off of each of them. They also shot up new green shoots from the top of the bulbs. Based on what I've done before (with Amaryllis bulbs) and what was suggested on the Web, I watered them in with a diluted alcohol mixture . In an attempt to stunt their growth and keep them from 'flopping over' and getting too leggy. I last checked-in on these in mid-December. More than a month after the roots emerged. And they all had multiple green
Showing posts with the label christmas flowers
In early December, I p icked up a 6" Winter Rose Poinsettia for $9 at the orange big box store and brought it home for the season . We have - typically - bought a Christmas poinsettia, but when we came across the Winter Rose, I did a quick Web search to learn a little bit about this specific variety. By now - late January - our typical Christmas Poinsettia is usually looking pretty ratty. Leaf-drop, leggy stems, etc. The Winter Rose promised a longer shelf life and that's turned out to be true for us - in a big way. See below for the Winter Rose Poinsettia that is sitting on our kitchen table today: I'd call this plant being in 'full bloom' - but I know it isn't blooming. Those are leaves, not flower petals. But...still....look at it. It is thriving. What's not to love about this pop of color well-past Christmas? January and February are hard, hard months for growing, so seeing this thing do so well has really affirmed - for me - that the choice
The last of the new Amaryllis bulbs is in full bloom this season. A week ago, I showed the Flamenco Queen flowers on a very tall, slight stalk . Today I'm posting a photo of the red and white striped Sunshine Nymph in full double bloom. This is the second-straight season that we've grown the Sunshine Nymph and in both situations it bloomed after Christmas. Here's last year's post from early January (just about a year ago today) when that version of the Sunshine Nymph was in bloom . I attempted to keep and force last year's Sunshine Nymph this year , but so far, no stalks or buds.
We didn't get Christmas blooms out of this Flamenco Queen Amaryllis bulb, but the wait was worth it. I last posted a photo of this plant at the very end of 2022 and showed the stalk had shot up with a bud at the tip . Today? It is wide-open. And has two of the most-striking flower blooms on opposite sides of the stalk that we've ever grown. See below for a look at the Flamenco Queen with red and white-striped petals and a lime-green center. Below is a photo showing that 'opposite' set of blooms. And the two more that are on their way: This is also - by far - the tallest, lanky-est Amaryllis we've ever grown. Even after we 'poisoned it' with an alcohol mix in December. How tall? It is showing blooms that are 25.5" above the top of the bulb. See below for the measurement: It has started to lean, so I stuck in a plant support that you can see below. The hard part with these Amaryllis bulbs and plant supports is that the width of the bulb forces
Yesterday, I showed the high and low blooms on the Magic Touch Amaryllis that we grew this Christmas season . We also planted two *other* new bulbs at the same time - a Flamenco Queen and a Sunshine Nymph. Neither of these bloomed for Christmas. But, both of them have tall, proud stems with a large bud on top. But, neither have made any moves to open or bloom just yet. Maybe by New Year's Day? Here's the Sunshine Nymph Amaryllis below. First a photo of the tag and then followed by a shot of the tip of the stem: And, here below, is the Flamenco Queen Amaryllis. This one is very tall and slender. I've been watering them with an alcohol mix, but that didn't seem to slow this one down. It started to lean a little bit, so I used this plant support to keep it upright.
Twelve days ago, I showed our first Amaryllis bloom: A magic touch set of two flowers that didn't grow up at all - just bloomed straight from the bulb . Weird. The other two (new) bulbs still haven't flowered. But, they've shot upwards. This post shows the post-Christmas view of just the Magic Touch - I'll get to the other two tomorrow. Did we get Christmas blooms this year? Yes. We did. The Magic Touch. We're going to get New Years blooms, too. Here's what the top of the Magic Touch looks like today:
A week ago, I posted an update on the three new Amaryllis bulbs that we're growing this year and talked about how they are at different stages of growth . One of them - the Magic Touch - is what I'd call the furthest along and has two flower stalks. But, those two are VERY different, too. One of them is taking a normal shape and form. Tall and proud. With a flower bud at the top. The other one? Failed to launch. Didn't grow much up from the bulb at all. But what did it do? It flowered. ALREADY. A mid-December Amaryllis bloom. Holy moly. This is a lovely red, too. What do I mean by 'failure to launch'? See the photo below showing the two flower stalks. The one in bloom is barely out of the bulb: And, here's a look at the backside of the bloom showing that ANOTHER flower is set to open in the same spot: Magic Touch Amaryllis is a fast-mover (for us, this year) and has produced the earliest flowers of any bulb we've grown. Kinda nice, right?
We're growing Paperwhite bulbs for the first time this holiday season. In early November, we bought an inexpensive package of Ziva Paperwhite bulbs at the orange big box store and planted them in a glass jar with some gravel at the bottom . A couple weeks later - and one month ago today - we decided to add a little bit of rubbing alcohol to the mix in an attempt to stunt their overall growth . (Everything you read on the Web will tell you that Paperwhites are prone to flopping over, so the alcohol keeps them compact in size.) With two weeks to go until Christmas, how are the Paperwhites doing? Here, below are a few photos: They've grown up and most of the bulbs have multiple stems (and or leaves) that have emerged. They're not yet to the top of the jar, but a couple of them are getting close (see the last photo that shows the tips compared to the rim of the jar). A couple things of note here in the Paperwhite Diary. First... is that *some* of the tips are brown. My
We're about half-way between when we planted our annual Christmas Amaryllis bulbs and the big day - December 25th - when I would (ideally) want blooms. This is a (partial) progress report showing the three newly acquired bulbs . Why just these three new ones (and not the bulbs that I kept from last year)? Because these are the ones that are showing action on the stalk growth and the three that are furthest along. All three of these bulbs were bought from Wannemakers in early/mid November and were planted up right around Nov 17th. That puts these three weeks from their first watering. And just over two weeks until Christmas Day. Will any of them bloom in time? First up is the Flamenco Queen Amaryllis . This is what I think is the most unique of the three - with green centers and white-speckled red petals. The leaves and first flower stalk are up out of the neck of the bulb, but not too much height so far. Photo of the mid-growth Flamenco Queen Christmas Amaryllis below
We typically have a few plants and flower projects around Christmas and this year is no different. Most years, we do at least two kinds: amaryllis and a store-bought poinsettia for the kitchen. This year, we added a third thing: Paperwhite bulbs . We've had the typical poinsetta in most years. Usually red, sometimes white or more interesting coloring. But this year, we were at the orange big box store doing one of those kids projects when we wandered out into the nursery. That's where we saw a rack of something that looked *kinda* like a traditional poinsettia. But, was a little different. The 'petals' (which...are really just different colored leaves) were curled under. And were clustered on the top of the plant. What is this? Turns out, it is called a Winter Rose. It is a poinsettia. Just tweaked. Here's a few photos of the red Winter Rose: I pulled out the tag of the plant and it read this: Poinsettia. Euphorbia pulcherrima. So, it is a poin
This past weekend, we went over to the local garden center to meet the Big Guy and his reindeer. We've done this same deal a number of years and it is a nice way to start the holiday season. In addition to having the kids visit with Santa for a few minutes, we also buy our annual allotment of Christmas flowers - Amaryllis bulbs. These bulbs are big and nicely cared for and (this year) cost $21 each. I'm pretty sure that when we started doing this, these bulbs were $15. This year, we're growing three new bulbs as well as attempting to force four from last year. I picked out one and two of the kids picked out their own, too. Below are the tags of the three we came home with: Flamenco Queen, Magic Touch and Sunshine Nymph. These bulbs come nicely packed with a little padding for protection. They're also MUCH larger than the bulbs you'd find in the typical packaged 'set' that includes a container, potting material and the bulb. MUCH larger. See bel
Just a week later and this is what our set of Paperwhite bulbs look like in their glass jar: roots have gone wild and the tips of the stalks have all emerged and are starting to shoot upwards. This happened REALLY fast (at least in my view) and I've tried to follow the recommendations so far - including keeping them out of a bright room while the roots establish. Below is photo showing the current state of these Ziva Paperwhite bulbs : I went back and bought a 2nd bag of stones to help bury the bulbs up about half-way to help get them more solid ahead of the potential 'tipping' that happens with Paperwhites. This am, I also began the poisoning of these bulbs in an attempt to keep them compact. Below is the bottle of rubbing alcohol (91%) that I added in a small amount to the gravel. It is about 5:1 water:alcohol added. This will, hopefully, stunt these enough to keep them from 'flopping over'. I've used a similar alcohol treatment to Amaryllis bulbs in
Every Christmas season, I have usually planted a few Amaryllis bulbs with the kids in different-sized containers as a little winter-time project. That has meant - historically - that we've bought a series of Amaryllis bulbs each November and planted them in hopes that they'd bloom near Christmas. This past season, we had five planted in three pots . Normally, I toss these bulbs and don't get them to re-bloom. But this year, I'm trying something new: trying to get them to re-bloom after spending the Summer out on our patio taking in sun and water. What do they look like today? They're full of green, strap-y foliage. Here, below, are a few photos of the bulbs in their containers: After watching a few YouTube videos and rooting around on the Web, I think I've figured out that I need to remove these from their soil, shake free all the debris and put them in a dark, cool spot for 60ish days to try to send them into dormancy. I have about 75 or so days befor
I'm calling it: our Amaryllis season lasted until February 23rd, 2022. Early February showed this Lemon Star Amaryllis in full bloom and today shows the last flower in decline. Our 2020/2021 blooms were last documented in late January 2021 . The Star of Holland Amaryllis from 2019/2020 season was in FULL bloom in mid-February , so I'm thinking that season lasted longer than Feb 23rd. And, our 2018/2019 season went the longest - with this full-double-bloomed flower all the way late on March 3rd, 2019 . My plan is to leave this Lemon Star bulb to leaf-out this Winter/Spring indoors and then move it outside to the patio come Spring/Summer and attempt to keep it for next Christmas. 2022 to-do list should include bulb management and reuse, right?
When you plant a series of Amaryllis bulbs in November , they tend to go off on different schedules. At least that's been my experience. And that's one of the big reasons that I like to plant a variety of bulbs - so we get blooms throughout Winter. In my ideal outcome, I'd see blooms starting the week of Christmas. Then, carrying all the way through January and parts of February. This year? That's exactly what we've seen. Are all of them still blooming now - in February? Nope. Just one. The Lemon Star . It was the slowest starter. But now? It is the last one left and is getting its time in the spotlight (meaning...it is the only one on our kitchen counter right now). These bulbs and some of the tending that I'm doing to our houseplants is a good bridge through the dark, cold Winter in terms of gardening. Below, you can see the blooms on the shorter of the two stalks that emerged this Winter. Lovely green centers. The last time that I posted
The Lemon Star Amaryllis bulb - that we planted in early November - sure missed the Christmas (and even New Year's) window, but it is now the real star of the show. After the other blooms are (now) past their peak, this one is currently putting on a lovely green party in the center of our countertop. The flowers are pretty big, but there isn't a ton of them - and they're not double-bloomed. The other Amaryllis' that we've grown over the years have always tended towards the red/pink/maroon-type. The Bird picked this one out because it was different. Pretty sure it was the only green one at Wannemaker's this year. Would recommend it to anyone - looking to do something a little more unique. Looking back at this post from January 5th , it appears that 9 days of difference shows the growth from a closed, pointy bud on top of the stalk to having flowers on all four sides open and in bloom. There's another, lower secondary stalk with a bud emerging, so
Well, we didn't have Christmas flowers. But, we sure do have New Year's flowers in two of our containers. We came home from a long weekend to find out that both the trio of Red Lion Amaryllis bulbs and the red and white striped Sunshine Nymph have bloomed and opened up wide. The last time that I shared photos of these was on December 28th , so in just a week they went from "beginning to open" to "full bloom" that you can see below. The Lemon Star Amaryllis (our first green-colored bulb) is at the front of the table in the photo above and you can see that it has grown to be the tallest of the flower stems (Despite being watered with the alcohol/water mix), but the furthest behind in terms of blooming. Thinking we'll see that one open up in the next week or so. Below are a few photos that I've taken over the last few days of the Sunshine Nymph flowers. They're quite striking and have red petals with a white stripe down the middle. The pet