Dance amaryllis produces tall stalks of glistening
white flowers that show out against a backdrop of
I told you that the name of the most beautiful bulb you
could grow derives from Greek words meaning Ďhead of a
horse,í try as you might you probably could not
conjure up the vision of an amaryllis. The amaryllis so
exquisite in spring gardens in the South is known
botanically as Hippeastrum, meaning the head of a horse,
assure you, Trigger itís not. Just within sight of our
fairy-like gazebo in the Cottage Garden, a show happens
each spring that draws the attention of cameras and
visitors like few other plants, the Wedding Dance
amaryllis. Itís a perfect name for an amaryllis in the
site of almost weekly weddings.
hybrid amaryllis produces stalks that exhibit several
enormous, pristine white flowers measuring up to
7-inches in width. Ours has been producing for weeks,
and while most bulb catalogs and vendors suggest stalks
16 to 20-inches high, ours are sturdy and easily hitting
for the most part, are considered zone 8-10 bulbs but
Wedding Dance, according to Tony Avent with Plant
Delights Nursery, can be grown in zone 7b possibly
colder. Tony commented that in 1996 they endured -1
at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah, we
havenít had temperatures nearly so challenging,
18-degrees a couple of years ago and 25 this March,
after the garden was 7-weeks ahead of schedule. The St.
Josephís Lily, Hippeastrum x johnsonii, produces
deeply saturated red flowers with a pronounced white
star and packs, even more, landscape cold tolerance.
all over the country can enjoy the amaryllis whether in
the landscape or one of the most loved Christmas plants
forced indoors. Outdoors they prefer fertile,
well-drained soil. Ours get morning sun and late
afternoon shade. In the landscape, we treat them much
like narcissus. We deadhead flowers and leave foliage
until it goes dormant.
on where you live you may buy yours for planting in a
pot at Thanksgiving and celebrating the bloom at
Christmas. Your soil mix should be light and airy.
Whether going in the landscape, or in a pot, plant so
that the neck and top of the bulb are in view. Place the
pot in a morning sun window and maintain moisture.
your amaryllis blooms, keep your plant growing until
warm, frost-free temperatures arrive and then plant
outdoors if you are in the proper hardiness zone.
Otherwise, place your pot on the porch patio or deck and
keep the foliage actively growing until it goes dormant
in mid to late-summer. Bring your pot indoors before any
chance of frost removing leaves once they become dry and
shriveled. They will need a two month rest period before
beginning the cycle again.
grown in the landscape in warmer regions can be left in
the bed for years without separating, digging or
replanting. Once bulbs finally do get crowded, they can
be lifted and separated adding plants to other areas of
the landscape. Ours are growing surrounded by Blue Sea
setcresea or Tradescantia, a beautiful, blue-green form
of Purple Heart.
are against a backdrop of the old-fashioned nandina that
looks picturesque when you have the large white flowers
combined with red berries. The beauty would be even more
dazzling if grown in front of hollies sporting red
berries. Iíve only been touting Wedding Dance, but
there are hundreds of hybrids all with their own, unique
attributes. You most likely will find them readily for
sale in the fall. Make this the year you give them a