Discover the Beauty of Double Amaryllis
My mother always had a nice flower garden, but she now lives in a small apartment with barely enough room for an African violet. Happily, there are a few gardening activities that she’s been able to hang onto and one of them is growing amaryllis. Planting amaryllis bulbs is a bite-size project that’s easy to do in the kitchen sink. And since the plants don’t need a lot of light, it’s easy to find space for the pots.
Last year was the first time I grew double amaryllis and now I’m completely hooked. So this year, I pitched my mom on giving them a try. Here are a few of the reasons I’m such a fan:
More Petals = A Softer Look
Consider the difference between a daisy and a double peony. Daisies are cheery and always a delight. But there’s something about a peony’s lush flowers and their soft, suede-like petals that make us swoon. Double amaryllis have a similar appeal.
Like standard varieties, the doubles have big flowers. But extra petals give them an air of glamour and sophistication. Each variety of double amaryllis also has a slightly different combination of extra petals. It’s worth coming in close to fully appreciate them. And as with all amaryllis, the double varieties are long-lasting cut flowers that look gorgeous in a vase on their own or mixed with foliage and other flowers. You can learn more about using amaryllis as cut flowers HERE.
Variations on a Theme
In the wild, double flowers are rare and usually the result of a natural mutation. When developing new plants, breeders select for or even encourage such mutations. Often, the extra petals in a double flower are modified stamens. This is true for double amaryllis. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see part of a stamen fused to the outer edge of the lower petal.
This helps to explains why there’s so much variation from one double amaryllis to the next. The inner petals of varieties such as Aphrodite and Dancing Queen tend to be narrow and are often slightly twisted. Most varieties in the Nymph series have inner petals that are rounded and more similar to the outer petals.
Something Old and Something New
I was surprised she chose Apple Blossom, but she said she’s grown it before and got to thinking about how much she had liked it. I know how that is. Seeing a favorite plant come into bloom is sort of like revisiting a favorite painting or a favorite city. And she’s not alone in her affection for Apple Blossom. This variety been capturing hearts for more than sixty years. First introduced in 1954, it holds an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Ice Queen is a pure white, double amaryllis. The petals are narrower than most other varieties and are lightly ruffled. I love the frilly and slightly disheveled look and decided to order this variety myself as well. Early-blooming amaryllis are grown for us in Peru and typically bloom before the end of the year. It’s easy to imagine how pretty these flowers will look among the deep greens, silvers and golds of the holiday season.
If double amaryllis are new to you, please give them a try! We ship amaryllis bulbs right through December, as long as supplies last. You can shop our complete selection HERE. All early-blooming varieties are available HERE.