Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

December 27, 2013

DIRT ON GARDENING: Amaryllis is that seasonal ‘pick-me-upper’ plant

Did you buy or receive an Amaryllis bulb as a holiday gift? They are prominent this time of year and may readily be seen at just about any store that sells plants.

An Amaryllis is a striking flower that is normally grown over the holiday season and can be found at grocery outlets, as well as garden centers, throughout the area. The bulbs will be mass displayed in a cube-shaped box approximately 6 or 7 inches on each side. They are offered in a variety of colors and will contain the large bulb, a plastic pot and a potting soil packet to start your project. A heavier pot would be more suitable to prevent tipping when fully grown, so if you have a pot that fits this description and is about the same size in diameter then you might consider using it instead. Just make sure the pot is deep enough and contains drainage holes.

Pots shouldn’t be any larger than half the width of the bulb and deep enough to allow a comfortable fit so as not to crowd the roots. The Amaryllis bulbs enjoy a tight fit with no more than an inch or so between bulb and pot — a 5- to 6-inch pot is normally perfect. Don’t substitute a heavier potting soil as these plants prefer a light, fluffy mix with a fertilizer charge. If your mix doesn’t have this charge, then use a slow release fertilizer placed an inch under the roots when planting. Use a piece of screen or broken pot to prevent soil from seeping out the drainage holes.

Place 1 to 1½ inches of soil in your pot and hold your bulb in the pot to see if the whole neck of the bulb will be exposed above the soil level that will be one inch from the top of your pot. Make certain roots are not cramped and that the neck of the bulb is exposed comfortably above the soil level.

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Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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