The flamboyant blooms of amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are a stunning sight that’s all the more welcome in the depths of winter and early spring. They’re easy to grow, and take between six to eight weeks to flower. Planted in mid- to late September, they should be in flower for Christmas.
Like many bulbs, including lilies, all parts of amaryllis are poisonous to cats and dogs, so it’s a good idea to grow them in areas they can’t reach.
In this clip from Gardeners’ World, Monty Don plants amaryllis bulbs in pots indoors, so they flower in time for Christmas. Planted during October into an attractive container, they should produce their large trumpet flowers during the coming festive season. Monty Don recommends the rich red variety ‘Royal Velvet’, which is great for decorating your home or to give as a gift:
More on growing amaryllis:
You Will Need
- Amaryllis bulb
- Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
- 20cm diameter pot
- Pot, for soaking
Soak the amaryllis bulbs for a few hours to help rehydrate the roots and speed up the growth process.
Fill a pot with compost and sit the bulb on top. Don’t use a pot that’s too big: amaryllis do best when pot bound.
Top up with compost and water in. Leave in a warm, dark place for a couple of weeks and don’t water further.
When a shoot emerges, bring inside to a warm, light spot and water regularly. Expect flowers in six to eight weeks.