Awesome Amaryllis ‘09
Local bulb growers Hadeco have a special treat in store for gardeners this spring. Internationally recognized as leading Hippeastrum (that’s amaryllis to you and me) breeders, they will be offering their hottest new creations in garden centres around the country from September.
Look out for:
• 'Hollywood' – a delectable pink Symphony hybrid with large 16cm+ blooms
• 'Green Dragon' - an unusual Sonatini hybrid that offers multiple stems topped with pale green, dragon wing like flowers.
• 'Trentino' - another Sonatini hybrid with a mop of delicate cream blooms edged with a soft red border.
• 'Rock & Roll' - A double Symphony with eye-catching red flowers, laced with streaks of white.
Amaryllis are primarily used as pot plants, although they are grown in the garden with great success. Select a container that comfortably accommodates the bulb and has drainage holes. Choose a good potting soil that drains well (pH 6,0 to 6,8). The soil should be light, yet nutritious and contain no tree bark. Hold the bulb so that its roots hang into the pot and then fill in the soil. Firm down so that no air pockets remain around the roots. The nose of the bulb should remain above the pot’s rim, with its shoulder protruding above the soil surface. Once planted, water. Any excess water should drain away quickly and if you have a tray under a pot, empty it out so the bulbs do not sit in the water.
Place your potted amaryllis in a light, warm position. Keep it well watered, every 3 days or so and feed fortnightly with a recognised bulb food. In late autumn stop watering and let your bulb have a well deserved rest until spring. Once the bulb has finished flowering dig it, still in its pot into a garden bed. There it can receive all the attention the rest of your garden receives. Once the foliage has died down retrieve the pot and store it in a shed until spring.
• Put a bit of river sand under the bulb when planting to help the drainage.
• Keep the soil around the bulbs constantly moist from planting time until late autumn. If their roots want for water - especially in hot summer months - they may fail to flower.
• Remember to keep on watering until all the bulb’s foliage dies down.
• Add a thick layer of mulch on the soil surface - this will combat evaporation and help keep the roots cool.
• Never use fresh manure as this can burn your bulbs.
• For maximum success give your bulbs a dose of bulb food every two weeks.
• Dead-head any spent flowers. The bulb can then concentrate on fattening itself up.
• Remember to read the instructions on the pack. This will give you all the necessary info for a successful show of flowers.
• With this little bit of extra care you will not only get one seasons worth of blooms, but ensure that your bulbs flower from year to year and multiply.
Visit www.hadeco.co.za for more info.