The leaves are on a completely different schedule. They sprout from their stout bulbs in spring or early summer. The bright green leaves are about a foot long and an inch wide.
These amaryllis are native to South Africa, making them a perfect fit for my hot, dry garden. They require no additional water and survive on rainfall alone. They are also called Brunsvigia rosea or Belladonna Lily or Naked Lady. Don’t confuse these with the other hybrid bulb sold as amaryllis that is a favorite of florists, with striped flowers; its’ latin name is Hippeastrum and it requires regular water.
This is how my amaryllis looked about six days ago. One fat bud emerges from the ground. To be honest, I’d completely forgotten I had planted it there!
Soon there are two stalks about two feet tall and the flowers are unfolding. There are usually four or five flowers in the bunch.
These bulbs grow in Sunset Zone 4 – 24 or USDA Zone 7 – 10. In colder winter areas they do better with extra mulch and slightly deeper planting.
Amaryllis bulbs are generally large, two or three inches tall is a normal size. They don’t like to be planted deeply; at or slightly above ground level is fine. They have a way of emerging from the ground as they get older and produce offset bulbs. The best time to transplant them is just after blooming.
Just try not to forget where you planted them!