The Amaryllis Experiment
I like to plant amaryllis every fall for gifting. They are a beautiful flower, grown in a pot, and always a surprise. One stalk or two? Four blooms per stalk, which is the norm, or five or six or—once!—seven! Sometimes the color on the box is not the color which appears.
I usually buy two or three, one for us, one for my mother-in-law, and one for someone else. Perhaps the library or my husband’s office. Or even, us again.
But this year, I’ve had trouble finding them. Usually, by October Walmart has a display or the hardware/feed/western wear store has them. But by the first week of November, there were none to be found.
So I was in a larger city with a real garden nursery and there they were. Alas, they weren’t the $8 variety, but the $20. Egad! But I was desperate for at least two of them so I purchased.
The next day, I’m at the local hardware and there they are. (Keep in mind that when I had asked the clerk earlier if they would have them she informed me that they were only after Christmas.) And the price? $7.99. What to do now? I bought two.
So I’m now running an amaryllis experiment to see what, if anything, is the difference in the bulbs other than the price. First, some similarities.
1. Both sets came in multiple colors.
2. Both are boxed for gifting, with a pot and soil, albeit different soil.
3. Both had bulbs already sprouting.
The differences. I’ll note the expensive ones with an X, the others with a R, for reasonably priced.
1. X’s box was sturdier with interior cardboard and the bulb wrapped in paper. R’s box was flimsy and the bulb was exposed.
2. X had ready-to-use soil. R had a disc you added water to.
3. X came from Peru. R was born in Peru or Israel.
Currently, they are all potted and on a towel in the downstairs bathtub where they will receive light. I’ve run out of room in the utility room because I have pots of forced narcissus bulbs going about their business of growing in rock. They, too, are gifts.
Let the experiment begin.