Thursday, April 01, 2010

Plant journal: Reviving a neglected amaryllis

So. I have this amaryllis plant. It was given to me as a Christmas present two Christmases ago from my hubby. It came with a live bulb, a gorgeous red ceramic pot, and a disc of compressed soil called a "coco disc". The instructions said to put the disc in a large bowl, add water, fluff it with a fork, wait a few minutes, and then plant the bulb in the soil. So I did. And I waited with great skepticism as I tend to kill plants more than I grow them.

To my utter surprise it not only bloomed ... it was absolutely the most gorgeous thing I ever saw, and seeing it every day made me happy. I proudly displayed it in a central, well-lit location.

And then we moved, and it moved with us. I set it outside on the balcony and forgot about it. For over a year.

Well, the other day I had a stroke of ambition and pulled the bulb out to inspect it. I had to pull a few withered leaves off of it, but other than that the bulb felt heavy and firm, and the roots looked reasonably healthy - more than I could have asked for. So I thought, why not? I went to the store with the intention of buying some new soil, but I just wound up buying some plant food (and cheap gloves and a cheap watering can). I simply repotted the bulb in the same soil it had been sitting in, the original coco disc soil. Mind you, all I planted was a bare bulb. Thursday, March 25 I gave it some plant food.

The following Sunday, March 28, I had this:

It's now one week later.

One week after re-potting the old bulb, which I was pretty sure had died from my neglect, I have this:

Oh yeah, I should mention, this bulb sat outside on our balcony for the past 13 months - including the extended deep freeze we experienced this past January that devastated Florida citrus farmers, among others. Followed by an equally freezing February and not the warmest March on record either. I know some flowering bulbs like cold weather, but I really didn't think they liked it THAT cold!

Stay tuned, to see if this plant produces a bloom!

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