The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Friday, April 11, 2014


Over fifteen years ago, maybe more, I went through a phase of finding and planting amaryllis.   There were several varieties which caught my fancy:  Apple Blossom, pink and white, Scarlet Baby, smaller and a vivid red, Amoretta, medium-sized and pink and white but different from Apple Blossom, and the most exquisite rose-colored Amaryllis, Laforest Morton.  Both the name and the color of Laforest Morton fascinated me.  I dutifully planted and grew and admired all of these, then family demands plus work demands overtook me, and I simply planted them out in the flower garden to fend for their selves.  A few years later, when we moved, I went out and found the bulbs, potted them up, and took them with us.  A few years after that, we moved again, and this time, still in pots, along came these faithful plants again. 

Having had more time eventually to learn more about growing amaryllis, and having continued a passion for different varieties, we now have several different kinds, including the butterfly amaryllis and one of the exotic type that looks nothing like the others, and we simply enjoy them all.  One of the most recent discoveries I have made is that while the butterfly amaryllis is evergreen and does not need the procedure of putting them into a rest period before starting them up again, it seems that all of the other amaryllis we grow are modern hybrids and also do not need the rest period.  This has simplified growing these plants so much.  From early spring through fall, these plants all spend their time in their pots outside in a sheltered flower bed, getting plenty of water and food; in the winter they are moved into our garden room, which is unheated except for enough from an electric space heater to make the room habitable for the plants and our cat during bitter winter nights.  This prevents our being able to time the amaryllis blooms for specific events such as Christmas, but we were never much good at that anyway, and as long as we can count on blooms appearing somewhere along the way in spring, we are content.  The butterfly amaryllis have just finished; within four pots of bulbs they produced twenty-two scapes.  Fabulous.


All this leads up to the fact that today Laforest Morton (and no, I do not know where that lovely name came from) opened its glorious rose-colored blooms and lifted our hearts again, just as all the other varieties will do in time.

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