Home Featured plant Monster amaryllis alert!

Monster amaryllis alert!

Huge Orange Sovereign amaryllis bulb finally planted
Huge Orange Sovereign amaryllis bulb finally planted

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.

For more information on growing Amaryllis and keeping them from season to season, click here.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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