Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
While amaryllis bulbs are typically forced for the Christmas holidays, these can also be grown in cutting gardens during the summer.
As cut flowers, these have a vase life of about two weeks. They are used as a form or line flower. Cut the stem once the first blooms start to open. The remaining buds will continue to develop and emerge over time.
Many varieties of amaryllis are available. The flower colors can vary greatly as well. They include bicolors as well as solids. Among the shades are white, reds, and pinks. Reaching anywhere from three to ten inches in diameter, the trumpet shaped blossoms can be double or single. The blooms open in bunches at the top of the flower stems.
The height of the flower stems vary, depending on the kind being grown. While some are only about 1¼ feet tall, others reach 2¼ feet.
Varieties that are suitable for cutting gardens include the following.
This is a lavish double that will strike your fancy. The petals are mostly white with red blotches towards the center. These are up to eight inches across, and emerge on two foot tall stems.
Exotic Star Amaryllis
With the elongated petals, these amaryllis blooms are star-shaped. The white petals are covered with deep pink stripes. The flowers are ten inches in diameter, appearing on stems that are over two feet in height.
Madame Butterfly amaryllis
These ravishing red blooms have an intriguing white stripe down the center of each petal. This gives them a star-like appearance. With green throats, the blooms are nine inches across. The stems grow to two feet in height.
A lovely pastel, this bicolor has salmon-pink along the edges and white on the inner portion of the petals. The throats are a refreshing green. About five inches in diameter, these grow on stems that are 1¼ feet tall.
Growing Amaryllis in Cutting Gardens
Only winter hardy in zones eight through ten, these are grown elsewhere as annuals and lifted at the end of the growing season. When grown outdoors in cutting gardens, they usually begin blooming in mid-summer about five to eight weeks from the time they are planted.
Because they are sensitive to cold, wait until all danger of frost is past before planting. These bulbs prefer full sun to partial shade. They are resistant to deer browsing.