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Amaryllis time!

Look who just showed up!

I love my amaryllis. First flowers just opened yesterday. And she sent up two stalks at the same time — that's a first.

(She usually sends up a second as the first is wrapping up. Will I get a third? That's never happened. But I really maximized the sun this year, and she never lost a leaf.)

I know Christmas is traditional for these things, but not my tradition. I really enjoy her as an early taste of spring— my first bloom. Plus, I'm a single guy who leaves home to visit my family after Christmas, so why miss out on a flower that only shows off for a few weeks a year?

And I'm such a freaking pragmatist. To get a Christmas bloom, you're supposed to stop watering and let her wither around August or September or something. That's still prime growing season! The autumnal equinox is not till September 21. So I schedule her downtime in the darkest months, so that bulb can grow bit and strong and put on an amazing show.

I'm also experimenting with allowing the new shoots up the side this year. She's been throwing off a zillion of them. I sliced off nearly ten this summer and fall--I've always been told kids sap her strength for the main flower—and then decided to let her have a few. Just to see how that develops. We'll see next year. Or in a year or two or five.

Amaryllis calathea late-bloomer in March NYC fire escape

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