New Amaryllis for Mid-Winter Blooms
To be honest, I wasn’t always an amaryllis fan. But in recent years they have become a lifeline for winter survival. Nurturing amaryllis from bulb to bloom is incredibly easy, yet it’s also immensely satisfying. In the depths of winter, I find these living bouquets fill a room with their presence in a way most store-bought bouquets don’t.
The key to having amaryllis in bloom throughout the winter months is to grow several different varieties, since they all seem to be on slightly different bloom time schedules. Each fall, there’s a wave of new amaryllis varieties to choose from. While it’s hard to beat the big, velvety red flowers of Magnum or Red Pearl, be sure your winter survival kit also includes a few of the more unusual colors and forms. Here are a few new ones to tempt you.
Double Amaryllis Elvas and Giant Amadeus
Double forms have added a whole new dimension to the amaryllis family. The flowers are just as large, but rather than stamens, these blossoms have extra layers of petals that give them a softer, more rose-like appearance. I grew Giant Amadeus last winter and loved it. The flowers change from one day to the next as color gradually spreads across the petals, shifting between red and pink.
Elvas is another new addition to this year’s assortment. It’s been on our list for several years and we are glad to finally be offering it. The flowers are similar to Picotee, but with extra petals that display a little more color.
After growing Dancing Queen last winter, I am a big fan. Doublet is similar in color and form and I’m eager to see it bloom. The petals are narrower and more reflexed, with a combination of narrow stripes and bold streaks. The edges are also lightly ruffled, adding even more visual interest.
Amaryllis Exotic Star and Ruby Star
I trialed Exotic Star last year, and am definitely growing it again this winter. As with other papilio or butterfly amaryllis, the upper and lower petals are different sizes. But it’s the unique combination of colors and patterns that make this amaryllis so unusual. Cranberry-red stripes and stippling decorates each of the creamy petals.
Ruby Star is even more avant-garde than Exotic Star. Each of its burgundy petals is brushed with a bold apple-green stripe. Like Exotic Star, the stamens are extra long and showy.
Amaryllis Yellow Star
Magic Green is one of my favorite amaryllis varieties, and Yellow Star displays a similar combination of buttermilk and chartreuse. The flowers of Yellow Star are slightly smaller, but are displayed in clusters at the top of each stem.
Amaryllis Magical Touch
This is another amaryllis that I trialed last winter. It’s both sweet and sophisticated. There’s something about the flowers of Magical Touch that reminds me of a pansy. They have flat, open faces, subtle ruffling and the finest white line around each petal. The flowers are cherry red and at the center is a green starburst.
Amaryllis Flamenco Queen
Here’s another stunning red and white bicolor. Flamenco Queen‘s petals are as marvelous as butterfly wings, and display similar patterns of netting, feathering and streaking. A lime green center adds freshness.
Be sure to lay in your store of winter-blooming amaryllis before we sell out. Unusual varieties are usually gone before Thanksgiving. Pot up a few bulbs in November and the rest in December to enjoy flowers all winter long.