Easy and Colorful: Blooms for Beginners!

Hippeastrum 'Razzle Dazzle' in bloom today
  If you thought Amaryllis were for advanced gardeners, you might want to revise your prejudice. From a papery brown bulb to this bodacious beauty is just a matter of patience.
  Of course you have to help it along a bit with proper planting.
  'Razzle Dazzle' began to open yesterday; 'Pavlova' (below), 10 days ago.  If everything goes well, I should have cut flowers through St. Paddy's Day!
  'Pavlova' wasn't staked like 'Razzle Dazzle' so she flopped as soon as two flowers opened. I cut the stem and, 10 days later, she is still blooming in a vase on my desk at work.
Hippeastrum 'Pavlova' opened 10 days ago and now lives in a vase.

Potted up in October - see blog

Hippeastrum 'Apple Blossom' last March

Potted up in the Lechuza Delta 20 planter, this 'Apple Blossom' trio is now showing buds and will hopefully be in bloom in a couple of weeks. Last year, its second since I originally bought it, it opened on March 26. 

I promised more color, though, right? Brunfelsia australis should be more readily available. This tropical is easy to grow, stays small, and starts blooming as early as mid-January. Also called "yesterday, today and tomorrow, for its stages of bloom color, it might not be a showstopper when compared with other tropical plants, but it's easy to get excited about it in mid-winter. This Brunfelsia is available from Logee's.

Brunfelsia australis flowers are slightly larger than a quarter.

And my dwarf pomegranate is getting ready to open! I bought it in November from Ted's Greenhouse and it's just been hanging out near a window since then. I'd just ignored it and gave it plain water when it looked dry. The other day I noticed buds on its gangly stems. It's a plant that needs a good shearing in the spring when new growth is imminent, but for now, I'll be glad when it blooms.

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