I mentioned that you have to be tough to live in The Barn; and, it seems, amaryllis bulbs thrive on toughness. For the past few years, one of the two amaryllis bulbs has produced blooms. In fact, the second bulb was an off-shoot of the first and I didn’t expect it to ever do much of anything it was such a small and puny thing. Indeed, both plants look awful most of the year and I only keep them around for the February/March spectacle of blooms.
This past year, as part of Gardenpalooza, I put all the houseplants in the ground to fill an empty bed. They were happy campers, all of them – including the amaryllis bulbs. The two bulbs grew healthy leaves, for once, and simply thrived in the garden. When it was a given that the first frost was imminent, I ran outside in the rain, ripped all the houseplants out of the dirt and, lacking potting soil, simply set them in the guest bathroom bathtub.
I got busy.
I don’t ever use that bathroom and forgot about the plants. By the time I remember, all of them looked dead. I left them.
With the news that Chef Boy ‘R Mine was bringing home a girlfriend, I figured it was time to get the dead plants out of the bathtub. ‘Twas a miracle it was, but many of the plants survived – they’re on life support, but alive. In inspecting the amaryllis bulbs I was astounded at how big they’d gotten. It took some doing to find pots around the house to accommodate their size. Since they had been brutally treated, I expected no bloom this year. Hah! I’ve got two stalks on each of them including the one that has never so much as thought about blooming. The other major difference this year is that growth is much slower – in previous years, the stalks appear out of nowhere and are 2 feet tall within a week or so.
This year’s are taking their time and I’m thinking the blooms are going to be spectacular. Extrapolating from the past, I expect to get 8 large flowers rather than the 1 double-bloom of last year. (And look how healthy those leaves are!) Hoo boy! The camera is going to get a workout in a week or so – two of the bulbs have started bulging – a sure sign of impending bloom.
I’ve mentioned a time or two (is than an understatement or what?) that 2009 was an awful year in many respects. With a couple of remarkable exceptions, my well-being has been as brutally treated as the houseplants. I think this means I should be double-blooming soon. Stay tuned for updates. 🙂