Shop carefully for the best bulbs
It’s that time of year again – stores that have absolutely no knowledge of selling or looking after plants are full of them – is there any wonder so many of them die after being given as gifts?
Everywhere from Lidl (with houseplants being stored outside in single digit temperatures) to Marks & Spencer has amaryllis, usually in gift box form.
This is a bad thing – you can’t see what you’re buying. You need to buy the biggest bulbs you can afford and make sure they are sound and disease free – no rot.
My best advice on buying Amaryllis (or Hippeastrum if you want the correct name) is to support your local garden centre and buy bulbs loose there or from a mail order specialist.
I usually buy from Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, as there is a wealth of experts selling bulbs you’ll struggle to find elsewhere at good prices.
This September, I splashed out on a giant Amaryllis bulb, an absolutely huge Orange Sovereign for £15, from Harts Nursery of Congleton, www.hartsnursery.co.uk.
It’s crammed into its pot and has been started into growth, along with last year’s five bulbs.