For as long as I can remember, all the womenfolk in my family have harboured a deep distrust of poinsettias, and refuse to have them in the house around the holidays. They just don’t like ’em. I have learned this dislike over the years, so I tend to avoid having them around myself. So what do we do instead? We grow amaryllis. This is something that I thought was a thing only grown-ups did, because my grandparents and parents always had a ton of amaryllis bulbs in various stages of bloom all over the house at this time of year. And yesterday, before she left for Florida, my mother gave me an amaryllis of my own. I guess that means I’m a grown-up now.
Amaryllis are super easy to grow. They’re the ideal indoor flowering plant for people who suck at gardening. For one thing, they pretty much always come in a handy kit that contains everything you need to get started: soil, a pot, and a bulb. And you can buy them at the grocery store. And they’re cheap. It’s the best of all the worlds, really.
Planting is easy. Add soil to the pot until it’s half full.
Insert bulb, roots facing down (that is key).
Fill the remaining space with soil and pat down so that the top 1/3 of the bulb is exposed. Water it sparingly and leave it somewhere sunny. Or even somewhere somewhat sunny. You can even forget about it for a while. In about six weeks, just in time for Christmas, this puppy will grow a long thick stem and spew out anywhere between 1 and 6 flowers. At this point I will likely pop it in a slightly heavier pot as those tall fully-grown amaryllis tend to get a bit top-heavy and are prone to falling over. BOOM. I will keep you updated as to its progress. I figure if it doesn’t bloom then I’m probably not quite a grown-up yet.