Amaryllis belladonna

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 07:06:57 PDT
I've been reading for many years now the ideas that people have had 
about what makes these bulbs bloom. I live in an area where they are 
planted everywhere and every year there is a good show. This year 
seems even better than usual as when I'm out hiking I have seen a lot 
of them blooming. My observations lead me to believe that it is good 
light that makes the biggest difference as they often bloom in areas 
that get no summer water at all.  This year we had our last good 
rains in April and only tiny amounts in May and only fog since then 
and in July they started appearing and have continued to do so since 
then. My other observation has been that even though first shoots may 
start in July, new shoots within miles of the same area will continue 
to appear for many months. My garden is shady and I planted them in a 
number of spots before I realized that they would need more light. 
Most of my plants never bloom, but there are a couple that bloom 
about this time in a more open area and some others that bloom in 
September or October in another area of my garden. I've been 
wondering if individual plants have their own timing depending on 
their parentage. Some of my plants were ones that were dug from Les 
Hanibal's garden and shared so are hybrids.

To my surprise, this year I have three others that are going to 
bloom. We are in a rather severe drought and two of them might have 
been shaded a bit by a very large Leucospermum shrub that died and 
was removed. I'm not sure about why the other is blooming. It bloomed 
a couple of times maybe fifteen years ago. Besides the ground being 
even dryer than usual we've had a cooler than usual summer. At least 
it seems that way as we have had more fog that we sometimes do. It's 
welcome as fire danger is high. So at least here in northern 
California south of where Kathleen lives, the bulbs are not behaving 
according to  the theory that they bloom earlier with a warm summer 
and that they bloom better with some summer water.

Mary Sue

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