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Amaryllis bulb reblooms third year indoors as water-grown houseplant 


Amaryllis bulb kept indoors all year reblooms on water alone

I know others are growing flower bulbs in water, but I have not checked to see if anyone has kept a bulb indoors with its roots in water for years.

Shown are photos of the flowering of my pet bulb, Leafy. This 'Double King' amaryllis has lived with its roots in plain water for nearly three years in front of a sunny sliding glass door in the kitchen. Named for the 2- to 3-foot-long leaves it grows after the flowers fade, the bulb came to me as a testing specimen in the fall of 2014 with two other bulbs that I accidentally let perish. I was drying them out following the traditional instructions to rebloom amaryllis

Leafy has increased in size since last year, when the bulb felt somewhat small and fragile beneath its dried layers. Some of the bulb's  papery skin slipped off when I removed it from the top of its vase for the most recent water change. Below is a closeup of what the bulb looks like after years of growing without soil.

As I discussed in the previous post, this bulb is probably not as strong and healthy as it could be. Nevertheless, it still managed to produce two blooms the size of salad plates. This is the bulb's third year of bloom. Kept indoors, the flowers have come a bit later each year. In 2015, it bloomed in late February. Last year, it was in full bloom on April 23. This year, it was fully open on May 1.

The flower form this year isn't as well developed as previous years. The white tips aren't as pronounced, and both blooms have larger central petals that seem slightly out of proportion with the rest of the petals.  This is merely observation, however, as the flowers are delightful and still sturdy and holding their shape after having began their opening last weekend (as shown above).

Longfield Gardens, which provided the test bulbs in 2014, notes on its website that the double blossoms of Double King amaryllis should have at least three layers of "velvety petals." Check. And, as promised, the first-year bulb produced two stems. I also remember three blossoms per stem in that first year.

A 'Double King' amaryllis bulb with the crepey skin of its age succeeds at producing amazing beauty in its flowers, shown above. We were advised recently by local Westfield nursery owner David Williams that flowering plants need to be fed to be at their best, and that the use of fertilizer should not be optional -- even if a plant won't die without it.

That's likely the case for water-grown flower bulbs as well. I plan to consult both Williams Nursery and Longfield Gardens for advice on what sort of fertilizer would be best to add to the water and at what concentration. My gut is telling me to start out with a mild dose, but I'll check with experts to be sure. I don't cause any trouble for my favorite flower bulb.

I hope Leafy will bloom again in 2018, and I plan to see if I can get two stems and more flowers next year by adding some type of fertilizer to this water-grown bulb's care. Stay tuned.

While I am grateful to Longfield Gardens for having provided the bulbs initially, I am not compensated for these posts. It is simply a fun experiment that has allowed me to get to know special flower bulbs and their abilities. 




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