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The Christmas Flower

December 28th, 2010

For as long as I can remember my mom has always received amaryllis bulbs for Christmas from my dad. She saves the bulbs from year to year and has a ton of blooms in her house throughout the year. She knows exactly what to do to get them to bloom year after year. This past year she even saved seeds and started a few I think it takes them a few years to bloom though. When I was over for Christmas on Sunday I snapped a few photos of the double one that’s blooming right now.

I have never grown an amaryllis, my mom keeps offering to give me a bulb. I’ll have to take her up on it and add one to my indoor garden, which could use a bit of color this time of year. I’d also love to add an African Violet or two, they were one of my grandma’s (my dad’s mom) most favorite plants. She always had a few of them growing on her windowsill. My mom also used to always have gloxinia’s blooming in the house throughout the winter, some day I’ll add one of those to my indoor garden also. I will never add paperwhites, Easter lilies or hyacinths because I cannot stand the smell they put off.

Do you have memories of indoor plants & flowers from your childhood?

14 Comments to “The Christmas Flower”
  1. Vegetable Garden Cook on December 28, 2010 at 5:01 am

    What a delicate flower… I just love that hint of color.

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  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: The Christmas Flower #miscellaneous #amaryllis #houseplants […]

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  3. Kira on December 28, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I have very fond memories of these beautiful flowers :) however being that im orignally from Australia these memories consist of seeing my grandfathers whole front yard filled with these beauties :) Now that i have returned after being in the states for 9years i most definately miss seeing the beauty of these flowers growing in beautiful glass vases threw out some of the houses i use to visit and think how different the growning conditions where :) Gorgeous photos, thanks for bringing back fond memories!

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  4. Cannedquilter on December 28, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I have never tried to grow an amaryllis but I do love my Christmas Cactus for a little color this time of year. Happy Holidays

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  5. Nebraska Dave on December 28, 2010 at 11:02 am

    I’m afraid my inside flower growing skills are worse than black thumb. My house just doesn’t have enough light in the right spots to grow any thing of valuse so I’m reduced to (cringle) Hobby Lobby fake flowers. They are all looks but now smell. The good thing is that they won’t die either. Sorry I know it makes you want give me a shake or two. I’m in the process of down sizing furniture so maybe I’ll end up with room for a plant or two. Is there any hope for a single guy with fake flowers?

    Have a great post Christmas week or is it pre new year week?

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  6. Kathryn on December 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Most of my childhood memories are not particularly pleasant, so i don’t emulate my family, usually. But my mother had ivy in the bathroom when i was small. And i’ve ivy in my bathroom now. It is doing well.

    My mother sent me an amaryllis bulb for this Christmas. The problem is that it states on the box that the minimum temp to have is 65-70F. Our house is never that warm in the winter! Overnight, i’m sure our kitchen is in the low 50s. So i took it to my MIL’s to try to grow it there. They are near the coast and keep their house warm!

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  7. annie on December 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    We mostly had outdoor plants (and lots of them) but we did have ficuses, occasionally other things like iron plant or african violets. One time when I was a kid we were all supposed to go on a picnic but it rained that day. So my parents gathered up all the houseplants and some of the outdoor plants in pots and made a jungle for us. We sat in the middle and had our picnic on a blanket inside :-) At the moment I have ficuses and ferns inside. I have a lemon verbena that I’m considering keeping inside and I want to get more plants. I just love them and can not get enough!

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  8. Sincerely, Emily on December 28, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Oh what a lovely amaryllis. My mom had 1-2 every year and she still does. It has been a long time since I have had one. I think my neighbor has several that she leaves in the ground. I will have to look into that. My Gram had loads of African Violets and Spider plants. Somehow I find myself without any violets, but many spider plants that come in this time of year. Love them! (so do the cats). My friend in MN still has a violet that was from Gram’s and I meant to get a few leaves from it to start one for myself but forgot this past fall when I was visiting her. I will still do that and then will have a plant from my Gram! I remember how touched my friend was when Gram gave her the violet. It is amazing to me, 20 years later, she still has the plant. neat! Emily

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  9. Terry on December 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I love amaryllis but do not have any. I also do not like the smell of paper whites and my Grandma was really good with violets.

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  10. Morgan G on December 29, 2010 at 1:07 am

    I’m stuck on what a romantic gesture your dad makes each year. Might have to leave this post up on my computer screen in hopes my husband passes by. :)

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  11. MAYBELLINE on December 29, 2010 at 3:04 am

    My son was born on January 2. Each year, for a lot of years, my brother gives him an Amaryllis bulb. They are always beautiful.

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  12. Daedre Craig on December 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I just potted up a couple of amaryllis bulbs myself!

    What is your Mom’s secret to getting them to re-bloom? I’ve never been successful with that.

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

    • Mom on January 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

      To get the amaryllis to re-bloom I quit watering the bulb and let it go dormant. After a month or two a flower stem should appear. When I see the flower stem emerging I start watering the bulb again. Some bulbs will bloom twice a year–once in the summer and then again in the winter.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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