Summer Flowers and bulbs: Amaryllis
The Amaryllis is a beautiful plant belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family. Native of South Africa’s coasts and in particular of the Cape of Good Hope, is grown successfully in pots and is particularly appreciated for cut flowers. Its leaves, fleshy and bright green, can reach up to 50 cm in length. The summer is the undisputed realm of dell’Amaryllis bloom. Its flowers, usually white and pink, can surprise, at times, for an unusual bright red hue. They are particularly appreciated for their horn-shaped, making them slightly bent down and he can remember the shape of a lily. Amaryllis stems from a bulb, large and tunicate, from which grow the leaves. It is a plant unpretentious and very easy to grow.
The condition necessary to obtain a good development of the Amaryllis is to plant the bulb in its depth to ensure proper development. The land that welcomes him must be carefully drained, soft and rich in nutrients. Precisely for this reason it may prove very useful to prepare the soil that will house the bulb with preventive fertilization. In specialized stores you can find the nitrogen-based products, useful for enriching and not put stress on the ground. If the bulb is grown in pots, it is advisable to create a mix of dirt and sand and coat the bottom of the pot with the broken shards, useful to drain the land. Amaryllis likes the heat and full sun exposure. When the temperature drops and the climate is more rigid, it is advisable to put it away from possible frosts. It is a plant that needs to be watered with care during flowering, on average every three days. It is very easy to understand when it needs water: just touch the ground to realize it is still wet or dry. When the bulb is planted, watering should be reduced. The fertilizer should be carried out approximately every 20 days during the period of flowering. Some commercially available fertilizers formulated specifically for bulbous plants, adapted to provide the plant a complete mix of nutrients and minerals salts. The Amaryllis fear the cochineal, the slugs and the Fly Narcissus. The sick bulbs can be easily disinfected by immersion for several hours in hot water.
The name Amaryllis boasts illustrious origins because it was the name given by Virgil to the shepherdess Amaryllis, star of a song of Bucoliche along with Tityrus pastor. In the language of flowers it represents the strength, elegance and pride combined with shyness. It is sometimes confused with the hippeastrum, but distinguish them is very simple. The Amaryllis is in fact the only plant to flower without leaves, earning it the title of Female Nude. A little curiosity about this plant: its bulbs are slightly poisonous and is always preferable to handle them with protective gloves. Indigenous peoples, once discovered this little feature, they used to rub the tips of their arrows with the bulbs to “exploit” this characteristic against their enemies!