Sources, preferred cultivars

Perham, MN(Zone 3b)

Finally have been bitten by the Amaryllis Bug! Unfortunately, now is not the time of year for people in Zone 3B to be ordering bulbs by mail, even from places that still have stock. (Maybe I'll run over to Walmart and see what they have left... and maybe they'll be on sale!) Still, I'm planning ahead for future acquisitions.

What are your favorite sources for bulbs? What cultivars do you like best, and why? Are there some that you have found disappointing, in spite of being healthy?

I checked out amaryllis bulbs available from Brecks. (Spendy, I know, but on the other hand, I've never gotten *any* substandard bulbs from this company, and once when some daffs arrived with a few having soft bottoms, they sent me a whole replacement package, not just the number I reported as unhealthy.) Brecks has some "jumbo" bulbs that are of an unbelievable size. Not available now, of course, but next year -- . Does anyone know of any other company that sells comparable bulbs that I should check out?

And, speaking of jumbo sizes, is it possible to grow any amaryllis bulb to that degree of hugeness, or is that only characteristic of certain varieties?

How many seasons does any given bulb last, once it reaches blooming size?

Thanks in advance -

Joan

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

My favorite vendors are Royal Colors, Whiteflower Farms and Amaryllis Bulb Company. Good section of new cultivars, minimal problems with mislabelling and sick bulbs, and responsive customer service. All three are reasonably expensive, but I am paying for quality not quantity. Bulb size is definately a characteristic of different classes of Amaryllis. You wouldn't expect a huge bulb on a small flowered cultivar. Also cultivars act differently: some will grow and grow to eventually produce a huge bulb, others put out lots of bulblets instead. I personally can't see paying extra for a jumbo bulb unless it is a cultivar that isn't available otherwise. The bulbs you buy have been forced for up to three years by the grower, to produce good Xmas blooms. Blooming takes so much out of a bulb, you can almost watch the bulb shrink as it blooms. It can take several years for the bulb to rebuild and recover enough to bloom again. Some of the heritage or "pass along" cultivars that are found in Southern gardens bloom for years and years. I have some, planted 35 years ago, that are going strong. I wouldn't venture to predict how many years the modern cultivars would produce good blooms in a pot. A lot of Northern amaryllis lovers replenish their collections with a few new bulbs each year, treating their collection as constantly evolving, discarding the bulbs that haven't bloomed for a few years.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

The lady at the garden center where I bought my huge bulbs said it is possible to get them huge again. Her advice........plant outside IN THE DIRT and fertilize, fertilize, fertilize. I am going to put it to the test this summer. These are the 2 biggies i purchased.

Thumbnail by Anna_Z
Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

Those 2 bulbs look nice and healthy! I think you do get bigger bulbs, getting them out of the pots in the summer.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Guess we'll see about that, won't we? LOL

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

that's my plan too, is to grow them bigger yet, as many do.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I'll work some nice, dried cow poop into the planting area and then use MG.........alot. :>)

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

MG?

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Miracle Grow

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm a recent lurker here but I've been following bsharf's photos. While I do have many amaryllises I am always looking and just bought some jumbo bulbs from Blooming Bulb and I was very impressed with them. Many arrived in bud.

Sorry for the fuzzy photo. The basement isn't bright and I was potting them up down there.

Thumbnail by pirl
Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Pirl, are those bulbs you purchased as large as the ones I have in the photo above?

I went to Blooming Bulb's website.........no prices for the jumbo bulbs. What did the one cost that you showed in the pic? I'm surprised that they don't have prices listed. And am interested in the jumbo bulbs.

This message was edited Jan 25, 2011 9:50 AM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'd say so. Mine was pictured next to a can of spray paint if that helps determine the size. I'll check the other photos.

I'll check the prices, too.

Once again, sorry about the fuzzy photo. Here is Nagano.

Just got out my receipt and there are no prices on it! I can't imagine why the site no longer shows prices but they were there when I ordered on Jan. 3rd.

The Jumbo bulbs were all like turnips and they were:
Nagano
San Remo
Nymph

Sorry I couldn't be of more help AZ (my maiden initials!)

Thumbnail by pirl
Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

So, they sent you bulbs now??? In this weather?? And they arrived ok? This was bloomingbulbs.com? That's the site I went to.

Nice big ones, that's what I want.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I ordered 1/3 and received them 1/7. They were extremely well packed. My husband and I were both highly impressed. Yes, Blooming Bulbs! Call them - maybe they're all sold out as I've seen elsewhere.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I thought about doing that, I see that they have an 800 number. Thanks for posting that name. :>) Enable, enable..........That's what we all do best on here, don't we????

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We try but we don't pressure each other except through photos!

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Oh, like photos aren't pressure..............sometimes the worst kind.........LOLOL (if she/he can grow those, no reason why I can't....) :>)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Precisely!

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I suffer from it horribly.............Had to give up on the giant gunnera, tho. I have finally realized that I do NOT live in the Pacific Northwest........*sigh*........and they looked so BIG........I LOVE big plants. I'll call Blooming Bulbs. I paid $19.99 for those 2 big ones I showed in the photo. Do you think those were that much or more? Can't you remember????? LOLOL

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Definitely cheaper! I think one may have been in the $11. to $12. range, another I think was $9.47 and then cheaper than those.

Good luck and let us know how well you did.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

pirl, do you remember if there was a minimum order amount? Oh, gosh, that would be terrible if I had to buy more in order to get cheap shipping.........LOLOL

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Hysterical.

NO minimum!

Just let me know if you want me to say there's a $100. minimum.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Bwahahahaha...........

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I called Blooming Bulbs.........they only had 3 cultivars left in the jumbo bulb size........Apple blossom (I already have that one, that's the bulb in the photo above in the thread), Red Lion and Minerva. Just had to buy SOMETHING, so got one each of the 2 I don't have. And, they were half price. :>) $12.92 Shipping was way too much, tho. $10.95 Pfffttt.......oh, well...........

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

At least you got some beauties. I love that Appleblossom and have one in bloom now.

Mark your calendar to start hunting at Blooming Bulb in late December/early January - don't hesitate - do it now. I always say I'll remember but memory is more fragile daily.

I just marked my calendar for December to start checking.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Yeah, I don't want to pay $25.00 for a bulb............wonder when they put them half price??? Guess I will have to just keep checking. I'll write it on my calendar right this minute..............

Oh, and muchas gracias for enabling. :>)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My pleasure to be of help.

I agree about the high prices. Having them bloom later is fine with me.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

i will pay it forward and enable someone else........

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

So nice of you. Someone has an unexpected nudge coming from you and they'll have to pay it forward as well.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

:>)

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

You guys are sick, this unemployed guy with a cash strapped family can't take these post season sales any more. I am going to have to live with what I have. Waaaaaah.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

But AnalogDog...........THEY ARE HALF PRICE...............what else could I do but buy 2 of them?????

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

pirl, my 2 Blooming Bulbs amaryllis came yesterday. Oh, they are nice, big bulbs. Will have to get a photo when I have the camera out........to take pix of all that wretched snow we have right now. Yuck.

Perham, MN(Zone 3b)

Thanks to everybody who replied. I haven't been here for a while - family cancer discovery occurred the week after I wrote, which has put amaryllis on the back burner until next year. I did want to report finding an Apple Blossom bulb at K-Mart for half price - $3.49 - a week ago. The bulb was certainly not what I would consider anything approaching jumbo, but ... it's just K-Mart... The flower stalk was bent, from trying to escape the box. I planted it, but the stalk started to look worse and worse, so I just cut it off and will let the leaves develop and perhaps feed the bulb up for next year. Cheap fun. Maybe, being it was deprived of flowering for this year, it'll really put out next time. I added slow release fertilizer to the pot mix, to help it out.

My Mom has amaryllis descendants from bulbs my brother gave her in 1975. I don't have 35 years left, but I look forward to collecting, all the same. Love my January flower collection; keeps me going through the "impatient for spring" northern winter months.

I also had *great* service from EasyToGrowBulbs.com, where Kathleen was extremely helpful in figuring out how to send me bulbs when it's 0 in Minnesota. I had to cancel the order because I might have to be traveling in these next couple of months, but still - she was great. And I'll be doing business there, when the time comes.

I'll shop the other places you guys mentioned too. Going to window-gaze right now. Thanks again -

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

So sorry to hear the bad news, Joan.

That Apple Blossom is certainly gorgeous. All amaryllis keep us going through the dismal days of winter. I notice the flowers more than the snow outside.

What a great recommendation for Easy to Grow Bulbs. I'll head over there later.

Hope all goes well for you.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Me too. A girl can't have too many bulb purchasing sites........LOLOL

Thibodaux, LA(Zone 9a)

Amaryllises are my favorite flower.
I was buying my bulbs at the box stores but the majority of the time they were mislabeled.
This year, I found the company "Easy to Grow Bulbs". I ordered twice from them and was very pleased with my order. There bulbs are large.Kathleen is very nice & helpful. They have speedy delivery after you place your order and freebies if you order over $50.
I would like to add a image of the bulbs I received but I don't know how to upload the photo. It says to press CTRL to select photo.
When i do that nothing happens

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