Not Seeing Red: Amaryllis of a Different Color
How the color red came to be associated with the holiday season is open for debate. Some trace it back to ancient times when holly branches, covered with bright red berries, were used during winter solstice festivals. Others link it to advertisements from the 1930’s that featured a bottle of Coca-Cola with its bright red logo held by a Santa dressed in red.
No matter what the reason, there’s no question that the color red rules the holiday season. Even flowers toe the line. During November and December, it’s hard to find much of anything other than red poinsettias and red amaryllis.
While there’s no denying the beauty of velvety red flowers, amaryllis now offer some truly spectacular alternatives. Here’s a quick look at some of the options for the holiday season and beyond.
Make Mine Coral
If you grow just one non-red amaryllis, I recommend Terra Cotta Star. The flowers are coral pink with a lime green throat. The veining on the petals creates intricate patterns as beautiful as butterfly wings. I grow this variety every year and it’s always a wonder.
Go Green for Winter
I am crazy about green flowers. Queen Lime zinnias, green nicotianas, green hydrangeas…and green amaryllis. If you have never grown a green amaryllis, please give it a try. They are surprisingly beautiful and bring a freshness to any room. Two of my favorites are Evergreen and Magic Green.
The Elegance of White
White amaryllis are stunning, especially when they’re used as cut flowers, arranged in a tall vase. Christmas Gift has large, frosty white flowers that bring to mind the crisp air and deep blue skies of a wintery January day. For a slightly different take on white, consider Picotee. Its pure white petals are outlined with an almost impossibly thin red edge.
Then Comes Pink
Pink is an up and coming color in the amaryllis world. Demand is growing and breeders are introducing lots of new choices. Last year I grew both Apple Blossom and Rosy Star. If I had to choose between the two, I would pick Rosy Star, simply because I prefer pink in small doses. But Apple Blossom is a perennial best-seller with legions of admirers.
If you like pink in large doses, be sure to grow Pink Surprise. The petals of these enormous hot pink flowers have a silky sheen and just a touch of white at the tip.
Now is the time to order amaryllis bulbs. Though we usually have them available until mid-December, these more unusual varieties always sell out first. Plan to give them as gifts or squirrel them away to enjoy yourself later this winter. Click here to see our full selection of red and not-so-red varieties.