Talk to any gardener or anyone who tries to garden, like me, and you’ll find someone who can’t wait to talk about a successful plant in their yard. Be warned. This post is about just such a flower.
Several years ago, I planted four Amaryllis bulbs. These were gifts received during the Christmas season. When I heard that a friend in the metroplex had had success with growing them, I had to give it a try. Selecting a spot where they might succeed was the most difficult part. I chose a bed next to the house where it would be somewhat protected from the wind and the late afternoon sun.
Only two of the four bulbs have ever bloomed, although the leaves of the other two come up every year. Poor things have not been fed regularly.
The bulbs are not watered most of the year. They only need watering just before they bloom and until after the leaves have all dried up. The trick is remembering to give them a drink at the right time.
Amaryllis should have four flowers on each stem, but mine only produce two flowers. The rocky, clay soil and harsh environment may account for that. That flower bed was dug up and most of the rocks removed. Then good soil was mixed in with the original soil, but clay and rocks seem to work their way up into the top soil.
The one rule for bulbs that I do obey is to not cut the leaves off until they have all died. Those green leaves provide the nutrients for the bulb.
In a field next to the driveway about 50 Bearded Iris bulbs were planted eight years ago. These bulbs had been given to me by friends and family. A few I bought at an Iris farm in Argyle, north of Fort Worth.
The first three years they bloomed profusely with large flowers. But, I also fed them twice a year, as recommended. On Halloween and Valentine’s Day or close to those times is the proper fertilizing dates. As time passed, I became lax in their care because I had to drag three connected hoses about 75 feet to reach them.
So, sadly, this year the flowers have been sparse and small. Rainfall has only been one half an inch this year, so there has been little water. I keep meaning to dig some up and bring them into the yard. But then, they would get too much water.
The good thing is that old fashioned iris bulbs will still be viable for years to come. So next year, if I water and fertilize, they should flourish again.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the work needed to keep plants maintained. I would love to find someone willing to work, so I’ll keep looking.
“The greatest glory never comes from winning, but from rising each time you fall. A person is defined by what he chooses to do with his life, not by what happens to him.” Clay Aiken