No wonder the hippeastrum (Amaryllis) was flagged up as Plant Of The Month in December.
It’s so stylish and accommodating that you can decide when the lily-like flowers, set atop a tall stem, adorn your living space. The lady of the house potted one up in late December and it’s on course for blooming four weeks later.
This plant makes a present with a difference. Inside the box lies a creative practical activity: bulb, pot and compost.
The red variety was introduced circa 1800, but the whites, pinks, salmon, orange, green and bi-coloured types available today reflect the progress in breeding.
Go for the bigger, more expensive bulbs as more stems emerge from them. Also check there’s a green tip.
Plant the bulb firmly with the top half above compost level. After flowering, allow the stem(s) to die down as nutrients are re-absorbed. Withdraw watering and dry it off ready for storage in 5C to 10C.
Purchasing three hippeastrums and starting them off at monthly intervals is a sure way of putting smiles on faces in any year.