Amaryllis is also known as the belladonna lily or naked lady. The plant has beautiful trumpet-shaped blooms, long strap-like leaves, and is local to the tropical areas of South America. It is a very easy plant to grow and a favorite among flower enthusiasts and novices alike. It grows best with good sunlight, low-nitrogen fertilizer, and well drained soil.
Many think that it is difficult to get amaryllis to re-bloom, but it is actually quite easy. Start by simply cutting the bloom off once the flower has wilted, and continue watering until the stalk begins to die. At this point, trim the stalk, leaving about two inches. Continue watering and give the plant as much sunlight as possible. Your flower should re-bloom in the spring. It is a bit more complicated to force the bloom for winter, but still doable. For directions on how to do this, take a look at the following post from YumaSun.
The name Amaryllis come from the Greek story about a shepherdess. As the story goes Amaryllis, along with all the other young ladies in the village, was quite taken with a young shepherd. His focus was solely on the plants and flowers, so he told each young lady to bring him a flower he had never seenand to her he would give his heart.
Being taken with him as she was, Amaryllis went to the High Priestess for advice on how to win the shepherd’s love. The Priestess told her to pierce her heart with a golden arrow and walk the same path to his house every day until he fell in love with her. Every day she walked shedding a little more blood on the path. On the 30th day she noticed a flower there on the path that she had never seen before.
She picked this beautiful, large bloomed, blood red flower and took it to the shepherd. When he opened the door he was stunned by the beauty of both the flowers and the young woman. He named the flower after her and as they say, they lived happily ever after.
Come out to visit all the beautiful flowers we have blooming in the Gardens, learn more about them in our weekly garden posts.