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A Gardening Life – January 2

I have several Amaryllis bulbs that are coming into bloom. Their big, colorful flowers make me happy that I bought bulbs and potted them in early December. Yes, you can purchase Amaryllis that are already planted but if you do it yourself you can choose the biggest bulb and the perfect container to put it in. (How to plant an Amaryllis bulb? See the pointers below.)

We go to the effort of potting up flowering plants because we want those colorful blossoms. But thinking back to the Sunday afternoon when I placed these bulbs in their containers, I realize that the activity itself was worthwhile. Potting up plants is soothing, satisfying and creative…conditions that most people would like to have more of in their life.

Today as I ran errands, an activity that sucks up far too much time in the average week, I listened to a recording of When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead by Jerry Weintraub. He told a great story about getting his first job in order to buy a red jacket that he’d fallen in love with. Once the garment was earned he continued to work, but he comments that at some point working itself became a pleasure not just the means to purchase something he desired.

This is how gardeners feel about garden tasks. At some point the act of weeding, planting or potting up becomes fulfilling in itself. Planting those amaryllis blubs was enjoyable and gave me pleasure…the flowers are a bonus.

To have a flower like this indoors in January? Priceless. But the peaceful planting of the bulbs was pleasurable in its own right.

Sharing The Wealth

Tips for potting up amaryllis bulbs:

  1. Be sure to choose a pot that has a drainage hole and don’t cover the opening with a rock, paper towel or anything else that blocks the flow of water out of the pot.
  2. Use fresh potting soil that drains well and get it damp before filling the pot.
  3. Plant the bulb so that about a third of it is above the surface of the soil.
  4. While the bulb is sprouting and growing roots don’t keep the soil too moist. Wait until the soil is starting to dry before watering again and never leave the pot sitting in a saucer of water.
  5. Keep the plant in a bright, warm place once the bulb sprouts and the bud appears. Once foliage grows you might have to water a bit more frequently but once again, let the feel of the potting mix be your guide.

I was happy to find this green clay pot in the shed - even before the bloom spike appeared the appearance of the bulb in the container made me happy.


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