Tag Archives: Amaryllis

Rebirth: Amaryllis


By Johna Till Johnson

Vlad had an amaryllis that he loved.

It was a constant source of surprise and delight to him. He chronicled its astonishing growth. And he often used it as a photographic subject.  He loved its extravagant color and brilliance, strange voluptuous shape, and the way it always chose its own time to surprise us.

After he died, I treasured and cared for it, along with all the other plants we’d shared.

Then came the Great Fungus Gnat Plague.

If you don’t know about fungus gnats… you’re lucky. True to the name, they’re little gnats whose larvae can damage or kill houseplants by attacking their roots.

Every plant got infested. I spent a couple of weekends treating soil (one way to kill fungus gnats is to bake the soil; another is to spray with toxic chemicals) and repotting plants. When the dust settled, every plant was safely repotted in dry, gnat-free soil—except one.

For whatever reason, the amaryllis had gotten the brunt of the attack.

The outer layers of its bulb had rotted, and the bulb itself seemed dead. I mourned, and prepared to throw it out.

But a friend advised cleaning it off and putting it in the refrigerator.  She told me the cool darkness sometimes helped them to recover.

I took her advice and promptly forgot about it. Well, not entirely: occasionally I would notice it as I reached down for something-or-other, and think, “I’ve got to do something about the amaryllis.” But it made me too sad to think about, so I did nothing.

Then one day I reached down… and saw the amaryllis had grown a stalk!

It was pale, like albino asparagus, and bent, forced sideways by the refrigerator shelving.

But it was recognizably a flower stalk, and…

… was that a tiny bulb at the tip?

Barely able to contain my excitement, I repotted the amaryllis in clean, dry soil, watered it thoroughly, and placed it in the sun.

I didn’t have long to wait.

Within a couple of days the stalk had turned a vibrant green, and the bulb began to open. And here she is, back to her full glory, with two brilliant flowers glowing crimson in the early-autumn sun!

 

 

Happy Easter!

By Johna Till Johnson

Amaryllis blooms

Yes, I know it’s just good Friday. But the new amaryllis (gift from a friend) decided to bloom today. And for some reason, every year Good Friday is sunny and warm, and Easter Sunday is cold and gray.

So I’ll take my cue from the amaryllis and wish everyone a happy Easter, even if it’s early.

Here’s to resurrection and life!

And—if Easter isn’t your thing, or even if it is—here’s to bunnies and robins and flowers and springtime and the promise of summer ahead.

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is In the Background: “Take a picture of yourself or someone else as a shadow, a reflection, or a lesser part of a scene, making the background… the center of attention.”

This photo seems to fit the challenge—

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Amaryllis Redux

By Vladimir Brezina

A month ago, our Amaryllis stirred to life. Day by day, it extended further a slender green flower stalk and eventually unfolded at the end of it three huge red flowers. But their time of glory was brief. When they had shriveled, we cut off the stalk and thought that the show was over for this year.

So we were amazed to find, growing out of the bulb some days later, not just a couple of green leaves but another flower stalk, which has now brought forth another two beautiful flowers—

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… just in time for a second response to this week’s Photo Challenge, Color! (The first response was here.)

Yet Once More…

By Vladimir Brezina

We didn’t have any great expectations for our Amaryllis this year. We didn’t treat it right. We didn’t treat it the way the books said to make it flower.

Yet a week ago, once again, it began to extend its long stalk. The stalk looked slender and fragile at first, and so we doubted still that the flower would amount to much.

But now at the end of the stalk, bending under the weight, Amaryllis has unfolded, all at once, three flowers, as if to assure us of its continued favor—

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Alien Life

By Vladimir Brezina

For a whole year it had been just sitting there, not doing anything much. Then, one day, we noticed that it had suddenly sprouted a pod.

This was a couple of weeks ago. Now it’s back to its old self, just sitting there… that’s the Amaryllis flower over for another year!

More photos are here.