Plain Gardening: Amaryllis

Plain Gardening: Amaryllis

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Folks along the Gulf Coast face a struggle trying to grow tulips, like their friends in Birmingham or Atlanta.  Tulips don't grow as well here, but we have something better—Amaryllis. 

Think of it as The Tulip of the Gulf Coast, only better.  It's bigger, showier, and lasts longer.

When most people think of Amaryllis, they think of a single bloom in a small pot.  Some may worry about what would happen to them outside.  But Mobile Botanical Gardens Executive Director Bill Finch says what happens is that they grow big and healthy and strong.  Amaryllis loves everything about our Gulf Coast spring weather: the sun, the heat, and even the humidity.  They're a tropical plant that originated in South America.

If planted and left alone, Amaryllis will multiply.  Fantastic blooms in many colors are staggered from late March through mid May.  Each bloom lasts a long time, and when it's exhausted there's usually another to take its place.

When they're finished blooming, cut back the flower stalks, but leave the leaves intact.  A large group can be split, but they do better if you just plant another.

To find out more about Amaryllis, contact the Master Gardeners at Mobile Botanical Gardens mobilebotanicalgardens.org.

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