Hand it Over – Or the Amaryllis Gets It

Our Amaryllis is being held hostage. Not really.

amaryllis hostage

It is merely suffering from an unhappy home life. Back in December, Judy and I placed it on a table in the back porch, figuring that’s where it would get the most sun. It sat there – and sat there – for weeks, with no sign of life. Then New Hampshire Garden Solutions pointed out that Amaryllis really need warmth, and our back porch can get pretty cold in the winter.

So we moved it to the table in the dining room. Which come to think of it, is where we usually grow Amaryllis without any problem.

Anyhow, in its new location the Amaryllis sprung to life. However, it had clearly been stunted by being kept in a bad environment. Well, not stunted – elongated. The stems stretched and stretched, and eventually started flopping over. We found an elegant solution by binding the stems together with the first likely object we found, which happened to be shoelaces.

But one pair of shoelaces, surprisingly, was not enough to keep this Amaryllis upright. After flower buds formed, we started finding the Amaryllis lying on the floor or table, as if it had tried to leap to its death. I noticed that the roots looked distinctly stunted.

The solution was obvious: another pair of shoelaces. Plus a small bamboo stake that I brought in from the garage. Plus some wooden skewers that we thought would keep the plant stable should it decide again to just end it all. The skewers might seem a bit harsh, but it was for the Amaryllis’ own good.

Resurrected, our Amaryllis actually started blooming today, although its appearance falls a bit short of natural elegance. But honestly, we are not keeping it hostage.


38 Comments on “Hand it Over – Or the Amaryllis Gets It

  1. Why don’ t you cut the stems off and put them in water and then you can enjoy them without all the shoelaces?
    They often get ridiculously long stems anyway so I use them as cut flowers which look much nicer in a vase than balanced on the top of a giraffe- like neck which is likely to topple over.

  2. I have a couple here that are looking a little trussed….and again it was a case of not flowering ’till now…but they are lovely .

  3. LOL! Mine alway threaten to topple over too, but since they go on a north- facing windowsill I prop them up against the window. I hope yours doesn’t suffer from post traumatic stress and keeps on flowering!

  4. “its appearance falls a bit short of natural elegance”. Well said, that made me laugh out loud this Monday morning. Thankfully us gardeners are often graded on a curve of natural elegance vs function.

  5. Lol….VERY creative, poor plant, I don’t think it’s enjoying the winter any more than you are.Here’s to your spring.xxx

  6. It must be a criminal offence ! 😉 Your post made me smile, as it really resonated. My beautiful Amaryllis is tied to the window frame with bright orange string. I’m not proud – it was the first thing to hand !!

  7. I love it!! I was thinking it looked like a bit of botanical bondage, too. But it’s taken ‘Bloom where you’re planted’ to heart!

  8. You are certainly resourceful and do not give up easily. Good for you. They look much more intriguing growing like this.

  9. My favorite solution to suicidal amaryllis is to chuck the whole business into a tall cylindrical glass vase. You can ease the pot off and allow the soil and roots to be part of the aesthetic experience or wrap some moss around the pot to disguise it and throw it into the vase. Ideally the vase should be tall enough to support the stems and allow a little bit of stem and the flowers to be above the top of the vase. No more bondage, no more toothpick torture. Let my Amaryllis go! On the other hand some plants seem to like that sort of thing.

  10. My paperwhite is behaving like that. Once it flowered, it wanted to flop back all over :-). Your Amaryllis look beautiful. I always thought them as red. But these look so sublime and elegant.

  11. Thanks for the mention. I’m glad it at least bloomed. Once they start showing leaves they need as much sun as they can get so they don’t stretch so much. Paperwhite narcissus will do the same thing if they don’t get enough sun, but I’ve heard you can slow them down by adding a shot of vodka to their water. I don’t know if it will work on amaryllis or not, but if you’re tired of floppy paperwhites you can read about it here. http://www.hort.cornell.edu/miller/bulb/Pickling_your_Paperwhites.pdf

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