Amaryllis...The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I love flowers.  Nothing makes me happier than to walk into my garden and find something unexpected blooming. 

Amaryllis is no exception. 

According to Greek mythology, Alteo also loved flowers.  A nymph was picking flowers nearby and saw Alteo and fell head over heels in love.

Because Alteo ONLY loved flowers, the nymph did not know how to win his love.  She went to the oracle of Delphi requesting help.

This young maiden was told to present herself to Alteo’s door for 30 nights straight, piercing her heart and chest with a golden arrow provided by the oracle. 

This young maiden was attempting to produce the perfect new flower in order to win Alteo’s love. 

On the thirtieth night, this nymph pierced her heart with the golden arrow.  Mixed with her own blood, Alteo opened his door to a magnificent and unique flower, winning Alteo’s love. That nymph was called Amaryllis and exists today as an extraordinary bulb flower that is sturdy, strong, easy to grow and requires very little water.

This first picture is one week after I received my gift for Christmas.  I made sure to not over water, and the results are amazing. The flower is still doing well, and is developing new blooms as we speak.

Amaryllis is truly the gift that keeps on giving. While it adds an indoor burst of color during dreary winter months, you can force the bloom into dormancy after blooming, freeze and replant for another season.

Because I live in the deep south, when the amaryllis bulbs are finished blooming, I plant in my favorite outdoor bed. We have such mild winters here, I am able to have these bulbs coming back year after year.

Amaryllis is a Greek female name that means “to sparkle”.

Amaryllis is often given as a gift to signify success.

Another interesting thing I learned about Amaryllis is that is has significant medicinal purpose.  The genus of Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is high in alkaloids.  These alkaloids are used in medications for depression, seizures and anxiety. 

I can definitely recommend that you place a stake and tie your amaryllis before it becomes too top heavy and you have to clean up a mess!

 “Where flowers bloom so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson