Well-Timed Amaryllis

By Charlie Nardozzi

The holidays will be upon us soon, and one of the flower stars this time of year is the amaryllis. The large, vibrant flowers are always a welcome sight, yet they never seem to last long enough, and they might not be in full bloom for your special party.

One way to extend the flowering season is to pot bulbs every 2 weeks in fall. An easier method for staggering amaryllis bloom times is to select varieties that flower at different times. Some varieties bloom within 5 to 6 weeks after planting, while others may take up to 12 weeks to bloom. By selecting a number of different amaryllis varieties, you can have flowers blooming for months in winter.

The Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center has organized some amaryllis varieties by the number of weeks from planting to blooming. Here's a sampling:

Early-Season Blooms (5-8 weeks): 'Apple Blossom', 'Minerva', 'Mary Lou', 'Roma', 'Vera', 'Mount Blanc', 'Aphrodite', 'Pasadena', and 'Scarlet Baby'.

Mid-Season Blooms (7-10 weeks): 'Lemon Lime', 'Liberty', 'Red Lion', 'Picotee', 'Blossom Peacock', 'Royal Velvet', 'White Peacock', and 'Papillio'.

Late-Season Blooms (9-12 weeks): 'Las Vegas', 'Clown', 'Piquant', 'Toronto', 'Vlammenspel', 'Happy Memory', 'Charisma', 'Promise', 'Dancing Queen', 'Flaming Peacock', and 'Andes'.

For more information about growing amaryllis bulbs, go to: Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center.

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