30 Nov Amaryllis: upright and alright!
Amaryllis or hippeastrum bulbs are the majestic queens of the bulb world. Providing a big pop of color with their trumpet shaped flowers when the rest of the garden is fast asleep, amaryllis are a garden geek’s delight in the dark days of winter.
Those luscious abundant blossoms often make the entire vase/plant topheavy, and more than once, the entire package has gone crashing to the floor. Here’s the fix, savvy gardeners: twigs to the rescue!
First, determine the overall height of the amaryllis at full bloom stage. The bulb shown here will top out at over 24 inches. I cut the twigs to 24 inches in length for the upright pieces, and left the natural tips on them for a more organic look, then placed the cut end of the branches in the water.
Red twig dogwood twigs work well, and you may even have the branches sprouting little green leaves in a couple weeks. Yellow twigs, thin bamboo sticks, curly willow, even contorted filbert can stand to the rescue. You will need four upright pieces for your container, plus cross twigs, 4 in all, and some raffia from the craft store. I use the plain raffia, its avaliable in lots of colors, as well. Creating the scaffold is easier if you can get a friend to assist by holding the twigs in place as you lash them together with the raffia. To ensure the twigs stay in place, you can put a drop or two of Elmer’s glue down in the raffia where it will dry clear.
Now that your support system is in place, stand back and watch the bulb rise to the holiday occasion.