A New Leaf Yard Garden

It’s about time to start decking those halls! I love using natural materials and plants as holiday décor, and one plant known for merry and bright is the amaryllis. The amaryllis we buy for our homes and landscapes are hybrids and the genus name is Hippeastrum. They are in the family Amaryllidaceae, which includes amaryllis, agapanthus, crinum, narcissus, daffodil, clivia, leeks, garlic, and onions. Amaryllis bulbs can be found at nurseries this time of year ready to bloom in weeks instead of months. This is because they have been through a forced dormancy to prepare them to put on new shoots and flowers just in time for holiday gift-giving. If you are the lucky recipient of an amaryllis bulb, it may come with a kit including a pot and soil. If not, they are very easy to pot up in any container with drainage holes and standard potting soil. Be sure not to bury the bulb too deeply. Leave the top 1/3-1/4 of the bulb sticking up above the soil. Water the soil thoroughly and place in a sunny spot. Another attractive way to grow the bulb indoors is to force it in water. I use a large clear vase with attractive pebbles or marbles filling the bottom third of the
container. Sit the bulb on top of the rock layer. You may have to use a couple rocks to help the bulb stand upright. Then fill the vase with water right up to the top of the rocks/base of the bulb. You don’t want the bulb itself underwater. Instead, the water should barely touch the bottom of the bulb. The bulb will soon start to grow nice, white roots all through the rock layer. Blooming will quickly follow.


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