Saving Your Amaryllis & Tips for Winter
The amaryllis plant you received for the holidays does not have to be disposable. You can keep it and enjoy the spectacular blooms next year. After your amaryllis has died down, cut off the tall flower stalk, but make sure to leave the rest of the foliage. Now treat your plant as you would a houseplant that requires high light. Place your amaryllis in a very sunny indoor location, such as a south-facing window. In spring, when the danger of frost has passed, move the plant outdoors to a sunny place, such as a patio. Proceed to water the plant regularly and liquid fertilize monthly to boost nutrition for next season’s flower production.
If you desire a blooming amaryllis for the holidays, in fall (September or October), cut off the foliage and bring indoors, to a cool, dark area that stays about 55 °F. Keep the bulb dry for 8-10 weeks, at which time, new growth may begin emerging. Bring your pot into a sunny location, 60 °F + at this time. If you would like, re-pot the bulb into a new decorative container. Remember not to bury the bulb completely, leaving 1/3 of the bulb above the soil. Begin to water your amaryllis on a regular basis whenever the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Enjoy the big, bold blooms at Christmastime then repeat this process again.
In the Early Winter Garden
Blooming brightly in the early winter garden is Helleborus niger ‘Josef Lemper’ (The Christmas Rose). The niger hellebore begins blooming in November and continues through February. Consider planting this wonderfully tough and deer resistant beauty in containers or in the ground when able. The plant enjoys part sun and will provide blooming relief in the winter months. ‘Josef Lemper’ is a part of ‘The Gold Collection’, a group of hellebores from the German breeding program of Joseph Heuger.
As we finish the final nursery clean up and miscellaneous tasks for winter, two things I feel worth mentioning are: providing food for the birds and protecting tree trunks from mice damage (especially young newly planted trees).
Plants, insects and seeds are now becoming scarce and it is great to provide nourishment and energy for the birds. The best for winter feeding is black oil sunflower seeds and high quality suet. A sheltered feeder placed in a place that is out of the wind would be ideal.
Protect young trees from gnawing mice by putting hardware mesh around the trunks. Anchor the mesh in place at the bottom with sod staples so that mice cannot dig or burrow under snow cover and get to the tree. By creating a metal cylinder, you will block critters from damaging the trunk.
From all of us at Linden Hill – we would like to thank you for your support this past season, we are looking forward to an exciting 2015. While we will be closed for retail in January and February, please email us if you have any needs or questions that we can help you with. Mark your calendars for the very popular Horticultural Chat Room February 21st. Our 2015 events listing will be available online soon. Please check our website for updates. See you soon! Jerry and Jessica