The Amaryllis Has Bloomed

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, too.

We received an Amaryllis bulb a few years back as a gift.  It was unwrapped and watered.  And it grew. And then it bloomed.  And it almost got thrown out.  Because, if you’ve ever had an Amaryllis, you know they look pretty boring once the bloom fades and drops off.  The leaves that are left are beautiful, but it’s really a bit of a let-down after all that color.

But we’d heard that if you treat one just right, you can make them bloom year after year.  Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?  We weren’t expecting much, really.

The instructions are pretty simple.  Keep watering it until Thanksgiving.  Then take it down to the basement, stop watering entirely, and put it in the dark until New Year’s (or really any 6 – 8 weeks of your choosing, but we do it this way because it makes it easy to remember).

At the end of its “dormant” period, go down to the  basement and cut the (now dead) leaves off.  Put it in a nice, well-lit spot and water.  A few weeks later, watch the leaves come up out of the bulb.  Then a stalk.  Then… another set of blooms. And the best part? It gets better each year.

Easy as pie.  Actually, much easier – especially if you make your own crusts.

On This Photo:

Photo was shot with available daylight.  A dark background (a dark purple pillow – I didn’t have anything black handy) was placed behind the plant and the exposure was made on a sturdy tripod – 1/13 sec at f/20.  Aperture had to be very small to give sufficient depth-of-field – with a 50mm lens I could only be about 2′ away (710mm, according to the EXIF data).

Darkened the background in Photoshop, did some sharpening and very gentle curves work in Lightroom, and ran it through NoiseNinja because the smooth areas of the petals had a little bit of noise. Added just a bit of clarity to the anthers and the very middle of the bloom using an adjustment brush at about 30 or 40% flow.

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