Ceramic pot & amaryllis 'Christmas Gift' gift set
- Position: bright but not in full sun
- Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil or in loam-based compost, such as John Innes no2, with additional leaf mould and sharp sand
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: September to November
- Hardiness: frost tender (will need winter protection)
Amaryllis make a great gift for a green-fingered friend (or even those that are just starting out). They are easy to grow and this kit includes everything you will need including one bulb, a pot, sufficient compost and full instructions. Hippeastrum 'Christmas Gift' has slightly ruffled, creamy white petals with a green-flushed eye, which form sumptuous trumpet-shaped flowers in winter.
General care: Before planting make sure the supplied compost is moist but not waterlogged. Place half the compost in the pot and then sit the bulb on top (pointy side up). Fill in with the remaining compost so the upper third of the bulb is exposed. Water sparingly and place in a bright, warm position (indoors). Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged at all times and rotate the pot every so often to keep it growing straight. The stem may need support when the flowers start to bloom.
Once flowering has finished cut off the flower stalk 5-10cm above the bulb - don't cut off the foliage. Water when the surface of the compost is dry and feed regularly with a balanced liquid fertiliser. Usually the best thing to do is keep watering it through the summer and in autumn stop watering and move to a dark, dim spot. This stimulates the drought season of the plant’s native South America. Allow it to dry out for a few months so that the foliage wilts and dies back. In November bring it back in to the light and start watering again. Old foliage should be removed though take care not to cut any new shoots off. In a few weeks a new flower shoot will appear and flower just in time for Christmas.
- Harmful if eaten
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Q:Tayberry fruiting, and what do I do with my Amaryllis once it has flowered?
Please can you help me with 2 questions? I have a Tayberry bush in its 3rd season. To date, no fruit. In the 2nd season, it had lots of healthy leaves, but nothing else. Any help please? An Amaryllis I was given has almost finished flowering and I'd like to preserve it for next year. How do I do it? Many thanks, SueAsked on 29/3/2010 by sue james
A:Hello Sue, Tayberries usually start to produce fruit while still young, but they will only fruit on canes that are in their second year and you should not be pruning the canes out until they have produced fruit. You should also make sure they get lots of sun and sufficient water, and feed them regularly with a general purpose fertiliser. A sprinkling of Potash will also give them a bit of a push in the right direction. As for the Amaryllis, we do have lots of information on their care, which I will paste below. The bold, showy flowers of these tender bulbs are often used to bring colour into the home throughout the winter and are particularly popular at Christmas. They should be planted from October to January and will generally flower six to eight weeks later. If you follow the instructions below, you should be able to get yours to keep producing flowers year after year. 1. Using John Innes no.2 or a good multipurpose compost and a pot that is just a little larger than the circumference of the bulb, plant it so only the lower third of the bulb is below the surface of the compost. 2. Leave the pot in a bright spot where the temperatures remain around 20C and turn it regularly as it will start groing towards the light. 3. Water sparingly until the new leaves are establishing well and then you can start to water more regularly. The aim at this stage is to not allow the compost to get too dry, but dont allow it to get too wet and soggy either. Make sure the excess water can drain away freely. 4. When the flowers appear, you can prolong their life by moving them to a cooler spot, but make sure the temperatures dont dip much below around 15C. After they have finished flowering, you can grow them on and feed regularly with a balanced liquid fertiliser. Once the weather warms up, you can then take the pots outside and leave them in a sheltered spot (or greenhouse if you have one), but do keep a lookout for slugs and snails. They will need to be fed and watered regularly and should have protection from sun at the hottest part of the day. In autumn, they should be moved again to a bright spot and kept cool (around 13C) for a couple of months. When you move them to this cooler spot, you should also stop feeding them and cut back on the water as you want to encourage them to become dormant. After a couple of months 'down time' you can cut off the old leaves to about 10cm above the top of the bulb and replace the top 5cm of compost to freshen it up. Then just follow the growing instructions from point 2. listed above. If however you dont have a garden, then feed and water regularly through the spring and summer and then stop feeding and watering in early autumn. The plants will probably die right back and the soil will get quite dry. Move the pots to a cool place (they dont need light at this point, so a garage would do) for 1 - 2 months. After that, you can bring them back to life by bringing them back indoors into the light and start feeding and watering again. Every two or three years, they will need to be re-potted, and this should be tackled immediately after they have finished flowering. The main reasons that Amaryllis fail to produce flowers include not enough sunlight, not receiving enough water during the previous summer, or forcing the dormancy too early. They are also prone to a few bulb pests and fungal diseases. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 30/3/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Storing Amaryllis bulbs through the summer
Could you please let me know the best way to store the bulb of an Amaryllis through the summer without it shrinking ,as to date all the bulbs I have kept have shrunk to half their normal size. Thank you. Regards, JuneAsked on 7/12/2009 by june
A:Hello June, It is normal for the bulbs to shrink a little when they are
dormant as they do get reasonably dry. The best way to keep your bulb in
peak condition is to make sure you apply a general purpose fertiliser
like MiracleGro while the plant is actively growing - even after it has
finished flowering - and make sure you don't cut off any foliage until
it has died off completely. After it has become fully dormant, you can
leave it in the pot or lift it out, and store it in a cool, dry place
until it can be planted out again. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctoAnswered on 10/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
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