I find the tropical bulbs commonly referred to as Amaryllis to be almost the perfect houseplant for any indoor gardener. I can't sing the praises of the Amaryllis enough. Well, technically of the Hippeastrum, but Amaryllis just sounds so much nicer. The inflorescence-flower stalk-emerges from a bulb and puts on a showy display of exotic, colorful flowers. If pollinated, the blooms can produce seeds pods, otherwise the flowers wither and die and are replaced by strappy green leaves. Once you've observed that first bloom, of even the most common Amaryllis bulb, you'll be left wanting more. Over the past few years I've collected several bulbs and my latest is "Charisma."
'Charisma' is a standard Amaryllis that produces a medium-sized flower with a blood-red center that fades out to a pinkish hue, eventually to white, and a red trim around the petals of the bloom. From the bulb emerge 2-3 flower stalks, mine produced two this year. Like with many plants and flowers the picture on the plant label may not look exactly like the flower that grows in your home or garden. Fortunately for me, 'Charisma' is less pink and more red than the plant label and the picture on various online Amaryllis bulb sellers. I've taken photos of the bloom in various lighting conditions and with different backgrounds to give you a better idea of what the bloom looks compared to what the sellers and growers of 'Charisma' have put online.
In the top picture the Amaryllis is placed in a foyer on a bright day. Here 'Charisma' is growing indoors in the living room near a window on an overcast day.
'Charisma' again indoors on the same day near a brighter window with a white background.
During a snow melt I took 'Charisma' outside on an overcast day to take a picture of the flower in natural light. This is what she looked like.
Here is a detail photo of 'Charisma.' I'm not sure what's so "charismatic about 'Charisma.' Where I a professional Amaryllis grower or marketer I would've campaigned to name this Amaryllis 'High-Velocity Blood Splatter.' To keep it family friendly maybe, Amaryllis 'Wine Spit-Take.' I'm glad I took a chance on this Amaryllis when I spotted it at the garden center this winter. It isn't as pink as it looked on the bulb label and it has gotten a lot of attention from guests.
How to Pot an Amaryllis Bulb.
Potting an Amaryllis is really easy. In this garden video I'll explain how I choose a pot, how to place your Amaryllis bulb in a pot and how to water your Amaryllis the first time.
How to Pollinate an Amaryllis Flower.
Amaryllis bulbs can be very expensive to buy, especially for the nicer variety of bulbs. Fortunately, pollinating an Amaryllis bulb's flower to produce seeds is very easy. When you pollinate a bloom you're sexually propagating a plant. In this garden video I show you how easy it is to pollinate an Amaryllis flower and what the seed pods look like.
How to Propagate an Amaryllis Vegetatively.
Sexual propagation of Amaryllis bulbs takes time, you have to pollinate the flower, wait for the seeds to develop, then sow the seeds and wait about three years before the bulb is mature enough to bloom. Asexually propagating an Amaryllis bulb is just as easy. In this garden video I show you how you can propagate your plant by taking cuttings of your bulb.
For more on Amaryllis bulbs you can visit my Amaryllis bulb blog. It is devoted exclusively to growing Amaryllis bulbs and I'll be updating it soon with pictures of the bulbs in my collection.