Amaryllis Best for Central Florida
First day of Spring in Florida for me is when the Amaryllis bulbs come out. About first week of March they make their way up a tall inflorescence to open a spectacular large tubular flower. My favorite species is solid red or the uncommon red with one stripe per petal to make an “x” or cross. Amaryllis are easy to grow and its one bulb northerners are jealous we can grow and they can’t. Sure, daffodils and tulips are the most famous bulbs to have in your yard (and need a cold period we cannot provide) but amaryllis are the queen of the tropics.
Typically amaryllis bulbs are found at Christmas time and bought to be indoor forced bulbs to enjoy. Floridians can plant them in the ground and expect the following Spring for a spectacular show. Planting amaryllis are easy. Squirrels don’t like them much so we can plant them below soil. Compared to tulips which are planted at least 6 inches deep because squirrels dig them up and move them (or eat them). Amaryllis prefer to be in partial shade and respond well to light fertilizer. Plant them in an area with weekly watering during the summer and let dry out between each watering. In Winter stop watering all together.
Amaryllis is native to South Africa and need a dry, cool period before flower initiation in Spring. Rainfall comes natural in Central Florida and prove among other foliage in the landscape to be the perfect location to flourish. Where others have to take the bulb indoors and imitate a cool, dry winter Floridians consider this care free worth the wait in March. It is now the one bulb to let us know Spring is here to stay and more warm weather is to come.
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