Magazine article Sunset

How to Grow Amaryllis

Magazine article Sunset

How to Grow Amaryllis

Article excerpt

Secrets for getting your gift plant to rebloom

STRIKING AMARYLLIS BLOOMS aren't just for the holidays. They make great gifts and indoor decorations during the winter when they've been forced into bloom, but with the right care, these stunning beauties can rebloom in your garden long after the holidays have passed.

So rather than toss these pricey bulbs-they can cost as much as $15 each-after the flowers fade, place them in your garden (in a pot or in the ground) to enjoy year after year. Follow the steps at right to encourage rebloom in summer, the natural bloom time for amaryllis.

Amaryllis can thrive in the ground in well-drained soil and in pots. What's more, says Brent Heath, co-owner of Brent and Becky's Bulbs, "Many amaryllis are hardier than we thought." Some varieties can tolerate temperatures as low as 10°, but amaryllis generally do best outdoors in Sunset climate zones 13,15-17, 21-24, Hi, and H2 (with shelter in zones 8, 9,14,18, and 20). Three of Heath's favorites for growing in the garden are 'Baby Star' (deep red blooms with white stripes through each petal); 'Dancing Queen' (double flowers featuring red-and-white candy stripes); and 'Picotee' (white edged with red).

INFO Brent and Becky's Bulbs (www.brentandbRckysbulbs.com or 877/661-2852)

Three amaryllis bulbs put on a show in May after four years in the same pot. A single caladium in a G-inch pot nestles inside the larger pot to add greenery around the tall stems.

Post-bloom care

To encourage gift plants to rebloom the following summer, follow the steps below. …

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