The Great Amaryllis Experiment…Days 1-5

10 Mar

Every year when I was growing up, Dad would buy Mom a new Amaryllis bulb for Christmas. Red was her favorite.

When I moved here to SW Minnesota, I discovered that my husband’s grandmother not only got new Amaryllis bulbs from time to time, but she KEPT hers from year to year, planting them outside for the summer and then bringing them in in the winter, leaving them in a dry, dark place, and then pulled them out come winter to enjoy their beauty around about Easter time.

I had to try this for myself. So, two years ago, I finally got myself together enough to buy a bulb, plant it outside, dig it up, plant it inside after a rest, and then was blessed with blooms early last spring. Horray!

The blooms from two years ago. Lovely!


This year I’m on my second one. I would have a third one from this past Christmas, but we were away for the holidays so I couldn’t purchase a bulb just to let it die while we were gone.

SO…the upshot is…I have two bulbs – one two years old, and one just one year old, which my youngest daughter and I planted on Tuesday. For 3 days there was no change. Then, yesterday, voila! Growth!

Today, we measured it for the first time. Two inches and counting!

We shall share our adventure with you, our daily measurments of its growth…just you wait! It gets very exciting after about two weeks!

Just to clarify: the Pink Pot is the one year old bulb. It hasn’t shown much growth yet. The Orange Pot is the two year old bulb, and it has taken off! (Interestingly enough, the older bulb had a LOT of roots…but the one-year old one had zero roots…only time will prove if that makes a difference. Though so far…it has!)

Day One - Tuesday the 6th of March.

Day 4, Friday the 9th. Something is beginning to happen!

Day 5 - begining to measure! Two inches exactly.

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18 Responses to “The Great Amaryllis Experiment…Days 1-5”

  1. bitsandbreadcrumbs March 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    That amaryllis is gorgeous. Hope these grow up to be as pretty!

  2. hotlyspiced March 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Congratulations! It must be so exciting seeing it come to life after being ‘dead’ all winter. And what a beautiful flower! Make sure you post another pic when it’s in full bloom xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 11, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Yes, that is cool, isn’t it – that there’s life in something that looks so ill! I’ll keep posting pictures as we progress!

  3. Just A Smidgen March 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    I adore amaryllis! I’ve never done this.. once the plant has died, do you “break off” the stem part?? It will be fun to watch it grow!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 11, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      I know, they’re so gorgeous – and so easy! After they bloom, the stems dry up and are easy to pull off, the leaves will remain nice and green. Then, when it’s warm enough outside I plant them and just water them along with everything else all summer – I can tell where I planted them because the leaves continue to be green, though they don’t keep on growing. Then I dig them up in the fall, store them in a cool, dark, dry place, (but of course indoors) and then pull them out when I’m ready!

  4. rutheh March 10, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    My parents always had amaryllis bulbs and did the plant and dig routine like you.
    Thanks for the nice memory of following the growth.
    Cool.

  5. gardenfreshtomatoes March 11, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    A perfect project to share with a child…the results are quick, so they don’t lose interest.
    I may go see if I can find a bulb or two… 🙂

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 11, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Yes, that’s a good point – it’s fast and easy, too. And the results are so pretty that even a child can appreciate it! And, of course, the blooms are so large that they’re impressive to anyone. I hope you can find some bulbs to share with your granddaughter!

  6. cravesadventure March 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Love these flowers, however; have never tried to grow one. Beautiful – thanks for sharing!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

      They’re easy! Pretty much all they need is water and a warm window. And time!

  7. prairiewisdom March 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    Love the story and looking forward to hearing about the bulbs progress.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

      Thanks! I’m so glad you stopped by. Yes, I’ll definitely be posting frequent updates!

  8. Jenny March 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    How about that other throw away holiday plant, the Poinsettia? Have you ever tried to get one of those to get their red leaves again? Do you write a note on the calender to remember to get it planted? Are the hooks on the pots to hang them on a door? I’ve not seen them come that way. So many questions! 🙂

  9. Gretchen O'Donnell March 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    🙂 You made a happy face! Good job! I tried keeping a poinsettia once…it just got so boring that I threw it away, couldn’t take it any longer! So I don’t know if they get red leaves again or not!

    I do not write a note, though that would help. I meant to do it when I got back from Seattle…I did it last week. So…as you can see…a note would have helped. I thought about it while driving…or at church…times when I couldn’t do anything about it!

    Yes, the pots are meant to be outdoor ones that hang…they were so cute I had to get them but it’s far too cold out still to do that! And I’ll plant them in the ground and not leave them in the pots when it’s ok outside. It’s kinda weird having them in the hanging pot things, but they were pretty so I used them!! I think they were on clearance at the end of the season last summer.

    I’ll post again here about them in a couple days! the one is still growing like mad…the other one hasn’t done anything yet. It might not…

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