December in the Garden

My amaryllis bulbs have been resting in a cool spot on the three season porch we call a Carolina room on the back of the house.  I thought it would be good to repot them for this growing season.  So about a week ago, I took them to the garage and found a larger pot for the red one.  This is the one that has bloomed every year for five years, but didn’t bloom last year.  It put up a couple of large leaves, and I did put it out in the sun for the summer.  So, I’ll repot it, add some bone meal and a slow release fertilizer and see what happens.

December in the Garden at

The new pot isn’t a lot larger, but is wider in the middle than the old one.  I put a drainage piece in the bottom as it doesn’t have a drain hole, covered that with new potting soil and a handful of bone meal.  A shake of slow release fertilizer granules are added.

December in the Garden at

Lifting the amaryllis out of its old pot, the picture is blurry (sorry for that!) but you can see how the roots are circling the bulb.

December in the Garden at

I pulled them out a bit and set it into the new pot, filling in with new soil.

December in the Garden at

The pot that it came from is a nice size to use for the smaller Apple Blossom amaryllis.  I cleaned the pot, and prepped it for the other bulb.

December in the Garden at

The drainage piece that I use begins with part of a plastic seedling pot.

December in the Garden at

I cut it to just a few inches high and wrap it in a coffee filter.  This allows the water to filter away from the roots while keeping the dirt on the outside.

December in the Garden at

Place it in the bottom of the pot first.

December in the Garden at

Add potting soil, and a handful of bone meal plus a shake or two of granulated extended release fertilizer.

December in the Garden at

The roots on this one were just as pot bound, growing in a circular manner like the other one.  Pull the roots apart a bit, directing them outward from the plant.

December in the Garden at

Place it in the new pot, and fill in with new potting soil.

December in the Garden at

I added the two new pots to the little indoor garden on the kitchen pie safe.  The Thanksgiving cactus finished its blooming last month.

December in the Garden at

Just a few days later, the Apple Blossom amaryllis was starting to put new leaves up.

December in the Garden at

Progress is moving along, just a couple of days later there’s noticeable growth.  If you got an amaryllis this year, when it is done blooming, set it outside in partial sun and keep it watered regularly through the summer.  When the leaves die off, set it in a cool place for about 8 weeks, then bring it to a warm spot and start watering it again.  It should rebloom for you in a few weeks.  The normal bloom time is usually January to March for most varieties.  My red one tended to bloom in February.

December in the Garden at

My African violet has started doing something concerning.  The center leaves are stunted.  There are several possible causes for this, none of them good.  I have ruled out infestations and fungal infections, and I am hoping that it is just over-fertilizing.  I rinsed the pots with a flood of water, hoping to flush out some of the minerals that may be causing the problem.  Will see how it goes.  If the leaves don’t recover soon, the plant may done.

December in the Garden at

This year I am trying something new, over-wintering a couple of plants that were still hanging on right before the first freeze of the season.  Moving them to the Carolina room, there are a couple of begonias, one of the calibrachoas, and the tall spike dracaena.  In front, the fresh parsley is still producing new leaves, adding a fresh taste to winter dishes.

December in the Garden at

Now is a good time to do these kinds of chores, with the moon in a full phase.  According to my Farmer’s Almanac, from the 28th to the 31st are good days to do just about any kind of winter gardening, starting seeds and transplanting.  I like the Farmar’s Almanac Calendar for the kitchen too.

Are you growing anything indoors this winter?

17 thoughts on “December in the Garden

  1. I always learn something from your blog! Even though I don’t havehouse plants, I can see that the coffee filter and drainage piece could be applied to the many pots of annuals we plant outdoors in spring. Maybe this year I;ll try an amaryllis to brighten up those dreary days in late winter. Great post.

  2. karenfae

    I was just wondering what to do with my amaryllis to keep them this year. when you say move them to a sunny location and keep watering through summer you do not mean outside right away right as this is winter it would be too cold for them right? and for the 8 weeks in a cool area should it also be dark or just a cool place?

  3. I love watching the amaryllis grow each day, The speed is amazing. Two of mine send out second stalks this year so I am excited to see how many blooms I get on those.

  4. Although I’ve never grown any amaryllis myself, I had a teaching partner who grew them with her students every year starting in January. She divided them into four groups and each group potted a bulb. Then they kept track of their bulb’s growth in all kinds of creative ways. I always enjoyed popping into her room now and then to see how the amaryllis were coming along. There would always be at least one that had grown a foot before another had even sprouted! Enjoyed your post, Carole!

  5. Sue H

    I typically use a coffee filter in the bottom of a pot with drainage holes. Will re-use the plastic pots now for pots without the holes. Thanks for this tip!

    Are the African violet leaves stunted or maybe the original plant is making a couple of smaller plants … dividing on their own? I don’t know. Just kind of looked like that to me in the picture.

    Happy New Year, Carole. Love your blog!!!

  6. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    I have a red amaryllis that my mom planted in my yard several years before she passed away. As I have a brown thumb, I’ve never attempted to move it or do anything to it, really. I am so thankful it has come back every year! (I hope saying that does not jinx it! LOL) It always reminds me of her. She loved flowers and could grow most anything!

    Happy New Year, Carole!

  7. You just reminded me that I have my mom’s amaryllis in a closet downstairs….it must be time to take it out and get it going again! I have tried overwintering plants in the garage in the past, but it just gets way too cold here. My fig tree gets overwintered in the closet downstairs, and the geraniums are in boxes in the lower level, hopefully to be revived in the spring. It will be time to start the seeds before we know it!

  8. Patricia Evans

    You can remove an older leaf or two from your African violet and either root them in water or just stick the stem into a small pot of moist potting soil. You will get a new plant (or two) forming at the point where the leaf meets the stem.
    I have lots of indoor plants including orchids, Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti, a clivia, and many geraniums I bring in every fall.

  9. Sharon Schipper

    I have my african violets under an ott lite during the day because my basement bedroom only has direct light late afternoon. They are blooming continuously with that light. Are you sure the small leaves aren’t a new plant from a leaf? I’ve started some that ways, some opportunistic ones, and sometimes when I try to propagate on purpose, the leaf just rots. Oh well…. we try! I’ve never bought root hormone to try on an african violet.
    My dad kept amaryllis in the yard in middle California, never below freezing but a few nights a year, so they did fairly well. We also had the iris from my grandmother that we carried around for years until a neighbor’s horse ate them down at my sister’s house! Stuck his neck right over the fence and they just didn’t recover. Sad. She had finally found plants the deer wouldn’t eat, used a lot of chicken wire as well, and that doggone horse ate them all! unexpected.
    Love your gardens dear lady. I usually get paperwhites instead of amaryllis, they bloom a long time. and of course my record for killing rosemary bushes is unbroken, another one is dying off as I type! I have no idea of the secret for keeping them a few weeks indoors then putting them in outside, but the dead branches smell great in my car!
    Happy New Year!

  10. Marcia in TX

    I clicked on your craftsy link at the end of the post and it only showed 3 items. I enjoy your posts with the pictures of animals, plants, views and quilting. Thank you.

  11. I truly appreciate all the amaryllis instructions–I have two new ones this year and want to summer them over–this will be a HUGE help. My surprise one (no label) is kind of short, but has what looks to be 5 red buds–one is really almost out ; and the 2nd amaryllis was marked as a white…no names, strangely. But I love the striped ones–hoping to find one soon to add to my collection…
    thanks so much hugs, Julierose

  12. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, Oh My Goodness! I just remembered that a certain someone had informed me to plant my Amaryllis’ outside this past spring and I went and forgot all about them. What should I do Carole? Dig them up right away Carole and get them transplanted inside and see if they survive or just wait until spring and then transplant them and see if they survive? I really have no clue so would appreciate any thoughts and tips given to me! Like everyone else, I always learn so much from your posts and then also from reading what readers comment in their comments. Our good friend, Mark, is going to come and help me with a lot of spring gardening this year because I need to do a lot of replanting/refertilizing and even digging up complete flower beds this spring. We discussed this fall quite a few ideas that we could do because of an over population of bulbs and another overgrowth problem of Raspberries. Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and tutorials with us! I am sorry to hear that Craftsy took away so many of your fantastic patterns. Are you going to continue to use them or have you decided yet? I will support you whatever your choice is! Have a fantastic day!

  13. I’m kind of hoping to see an amaryllis on sale now. I haven’t grown one, but would like to. Your African violet doens’t have more than one crown, does it? It is hard to tell from the photo. Repotting down a size with fresh soil also may help.

    I have a second wave of blooms on my Thanksgiving cactus, and my miniature violets are in bud for the first time since I bought the baby plants in the summer.

    Hope you had a good Christmas!

  14. I’ve missed reading your gardening posts, Carole. Very interested in your drainage idea – so simple and I would think, very effective. Must remember that one. I’ve never had any luck with amaryllis – only tried them in the ground. Happy New Year – only 2½ hours away.

Comments are closed.