Mythological Amaryllis

In Greek mythology Amaryllis was a lovesick shepherdess who stood at the door of her intended every night piercing her heart with a golden arrow. From her wounds sprung an exquisite flower.

Now that’s what I call the hard way to grow these gorgeous blooms. Unlike the Amaryllis in Greek mythology you can grow dramatic blooms this winter without a single puncture to the heart. Simply pot up a few bulbs this fall. With a little water and sunshine you’ll have breathtaking blooms in just over a month.

Here are a few varieties I’m trying this year. I feel certain that if Amaryllis had these to offer her flower-loving beau her fate would have been much rosier.

Amaryllis Dancing Queen

Clockwise from left: ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Double Dragon’, ‘Blossom Peacock’.

Amaryllis Clown

Amaryllis ‘Clown’

Amaryllis Varieties

Clockwise from left: ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Red Pearl’, ‘Vera’, ‘Elvas’.


9 Responses to Mythological Amaryllis

  1. Ellen Smart says:

    Dear Allen,

    You should mention, somewhere, that these are really Hippeastrum, not Amaryllis, although Hippeastrum is in the family Amaryllidaceae. The names are confusing because both have similar flowering habits, but Amaryllis are native to South Africa and include Naked Ladies, a.k.a. Belladonna Lily (not actually lilies). Hippeastrum are from the tropical New World, but were taken to the Old World when plant collectors took them to the Netherlands in the 18th C. They were reintroduced to North America in the 19th C, confusing the picture. I have had fun in recent years breeding Hippeastrum and produced from 6 plants 46 distinctly different flowering plants.

  2. Patty Hohnstreiter says:

    I have some Amaryllis planted outside can I bring the bulbs inside for winter then replant outside next spring? I Live in South Carolina. Or should I just leave the bulbs outside for the winter?

  3. KG says:

    Once I purchase Amaryllis bulbs in early Fall, they sometimes start to grow and open way too early. Once the stem (scape?) has started rapidly growing upward, is there a way to slow down the growth and delay the flowers from opening? I cannot seem to make it to Thanksgiving without them opening. (And certainly not to early or mid-December, which would be the ideal time for my blooms to open for the Holidays.

    I live in Southern California where it is too warm in the Fall to keep the bulbs cool (around 55 degrees?). (Today, Nov. 1, it was 86 degrees.) And my Sub-Zero refrigerator is far too cold at 36 degrees to store the bulbs until later in the Fall. Next year I may try storing them in the wine-chiller. But for this year how can I slow their development?

    • Lauren Todaro says:

      I also live in Southern California, and wondering if keeping them in my garage might work. My refrigerator is not subzero, so that might work, as well. What about a wine cooler?

      It is another warm day today at 80 in Irvine, so I sympathize. My basil is dying because it gets too cold at night and hard to grow Amaryllis or other bulbs because it is too hot in the day. I cannot complain about the weather, though. Who wouldn’t like 80 degrees in November?

  4. boris says:

    I live in Al;b.NM and I just brought inside my Amaryllis pot because our Tmp is 36 at nigh now ,but in the 60s afternoons,and they were outside in these pots all Summer.I have no room in our Frig. what to do now to get them to bloom, we have agarage.

  5. boris says:

    please help wioth mhy Amaryllis

  6. rita hopper says:

    I live in Southern CA (Aliso Viejo) and have no problem growing amaryllis indoors. The indoor temperature I like keep below 65 during the day and 58 – 62 at night so they do beautifully and have done so for many years as long as I keep them away from the cats!
    Then I put them outdoors permanently where they bloom variably in the spring.

  7. Emily Bachman says:

    Are prints available of your vegetable and fruit paintings? They are wonderful.

  8. Dolores Valeri says:

    One October day a few years back, our daughter gave us a pot with an Amaryllis bulb. It took a while to grow, sitting in the sunshine on a window sill, but when it did finally show its beautiful deep red scalloped petals it prompted me to write a poem about it, “Our Shy Shepherdess”. It asks for little attention and gives back awesome beauty!

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