amaryllis in the ground in Z6

highlandsgardener(Z6 Louisville)December 5, 2005

Has anyone else in zone 6 tried growing amaryllis in the ground outdoors? Planted 2 red ones about 3 years ago & they come up and bloom every year. Planted about 10 in deep and never dig them up. Want to try with other varieties but don't know if the first 2 were just a fluke.

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Well if those two survived I don´t see any reason why others planted at the same depth wouldn´t perform in the same way.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 7:57PM
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highlandsgardener(Z6 Louisville)

Thanks Raul, but geez, you're in Mexico...where it's warm! Just wanted to know if anyone experiencing freezing weather would risk it. They'd have to be in a different location due to space constraints. Kinda scary!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 8:47PM
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Look at it this way regardless of my location, you did what´s not supposed to be done, amaryllis are not supposed to survive in KY without being lifted, however you planted them at enough depth that they actually survived and not only that, they have survived to a couple of winters, so I don´t see why other varieties shouldn´t survive at that depth, after all, it´s the same plant. If someone came and told me they were trying to overwinter an amaryllis in KY in the ground the first thing I would have said is that it the plant won´t survive freezing cold. If you plant amaryllis the way they are supposed to be planted ( 2/3 in the soil ) those bulbs would freeze in an eye blink, to begin, you planted them at the wrong depth, then you left them in the ground, see the point ? you did everything wrong, and still got lucky enough and your bulbs survived, so why not try again ? You won´t get many replies because normally people plant them the "right" way, therefore they need to lift them to overwinter the bulbs or they die. Yup we southern boys n´gals go through a lot of trouble to have what you northern guys n´gals take for granted, tulips just don´t do well in the heat, most daffs don´t bloom unless we chill them, but on the other hand we don´t have to dig up dahlias, callas, cannas, gladiolas, crinums and amaryllises.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 11:49AM
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highlandsgardener(Z6 Louisville)

You're right Raul! I did everything wrong, but at least I did it on purpose. I love pushing the envelope! Buoyed by your confidence, I'll go ahead and plant some more this spring. They really seem to bloom more when grown in the ground. By the way, I've planted some agave outdoors this summer too and I'm watching the snow gather on its spiky little leaves! Pray for me!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 12:53PM
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Well, Carol, now you've piqued the curiosity of another envelope-pusher. First of all, had to look at the USDA zone map to see how any part of Kentucky could be colder than here in New Jersey! Next: Were these amaryllis bulbs planted along a south-facing wall, or any place where the soil might have been just a tad warmer? Finally, were these the large-petalled amaryllis and not lycoris, the variety commonly known as magic lily, surprise lily, resurrection lily, spider lily, naked lady, and probably a dozen other names? Some of those are reportedly hardy as far as USDA zone 4.

I do like forcing a few of these bulbs in winter; not for Christmas, like everyone else ... I need them after all the holiday hoopla is over and the reality of winter's dreariness really sets in. But it would be nice to have some outside as well, if that would work. I just might give it a try.

Good luck with your agave!


    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 10:11PM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

I wonder if I could hijack the thread to ask a question along a similar vein. I went look for Amaryllis bulbs today but the store I found them in had been leaving them outside.

We've been really cold a while and I was wondering if I bought any of them if they would survive or if they're all dead in the boxes. I opened a couple and had a peak but none had any green leaves like at the other stores.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 11:36PM
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highlandsgardener(Z6 Louisville)

Hey Diane, you figured Kentucky must be in the South, right? I believe the Ohio Valley we're stuck in keeps it a little colder in the winter & a lot hotter in the summer. But these are definitely amaryllis, not lycoris. I do have dozens of those planted in the same bed, along with iris and stargazer lilies. The bed is not protected by a wall or anything, but is sited between the sidewalk that runs right next to my brick house and a brick alley which is home to the sewers. Perhaps a combination of all the brick and the warm water in the sewers keeps the beds warmer. I'll snap some photos next summer and post them. By the way, my poor little agave is being covered with snow and ice even as we speak. I hate ice storms!

I left my potted amaryllis outside until about 2 wks ago. It had gotten down into the 20's here. I do this every year and put the pot into a cold dark closet in the attic. Water it a little about once a month. They start growing in the dark every spring, when I move them to a sunnier, yet still cool location. By the time its warm enough to move them outside, they're pretty much ready to bloom! If I were you, I'd offer to take the "dead" bulbs off their hands for free and keep them cool and dark until next spring. But hey, I generally don't do anything acceptable in the gardening world!


    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 4:46PM
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Maybe your screen name should be renegadegardener instead of highlandsgardener. Where would we all be without a little risk-taking?

Well, yeah, I always thought of Kentucky as being in the South ... mint juleps and all ... and my cousin, who lives in Louisville, sure sounds like a southern gentleman (even though he was born and raised on Long Island, NY, lol).

I'll bet that's a lovely garden when all in bloom. I look forward to those pictures ... could use some now with up to 3" of snow/freezing rain on the way tonight.


    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 5:31PM
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highlandsgardener(Z6 Louisville)

Diane, I really didn't know I was a renegade. I figured everyone did really stupid things and expected good results! Think I'm blessed by the Gardening Gods. As for photos, I'm trying to find someone to show me how to post them, got dozens now I have a digital camera. Maybe hubby will get off the couch & help. Speaking of snow & ice... we may be in a colder zone but they predicted ONE INCH and closed the schools early and told everyone to go home & stay there. We are really dorks when it comes to snow & it really shows! Little agave still hanging in there though!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 8:50PM
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Hope this is not too long between posts.

Carol / highlandsgardener,
I was wondering if your Amaryllis and Agave are still looking good 2 years on ( from your last post ). I also was curious about the soil that you have them in ? Did you amend with gravel, perilite etc or is it very course soil to begin with ? Planted 10 inches deep I believe an amrayllis would rot in my soil.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 7:24PM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

I planted out about 10 amaryllis bulbs in spring 2008. I planted them randomly in the flower bed, about 6 inches deep. Did not expect much, just hated to dispose them. This spring most of them show up nicely. Two of them already set flower bulbs and will bloom shortly. Even the ones without bulbs right look great with their grossy green fat leaves.

We live at the border of zone 8. I came to a garden the other day and saw lots of amaryllis planted like mine. The lday told me amaryllis should be planted shallow to expose some surface of the bulb. Otherwise they won't bloom. I don't know whether this is true. Surely if planted too shallow they won't survive the winter here (we still get teen degree in the winter).

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:00AM
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Nancy zone 6

I have planted amaryllis in the ground before & they overwintered until a particularly wet spring. They came up, but rotted. I had them planted beside my house on the south side.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:26AM
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I'm in 7a, and have left amaryllis in the ground by mistake and had them come back. They were planted shallowly, but I had bags of leaves on top over the winter. Maybe that is the solution to the depth problem and getting blooms. Now I am intrigued and plant to try this on purpose this fall. I have a bunch of Apple Blossom babies that I am sick of overwintering inside as they take up so much window space. They used to come up to blooming size much faster for me, but I seem to have lost my touch. This may be a solution, short of just planting them out and seeing what happens over winter. That is what I did this last winter, but we had temps in the single digits for several nights running, and they were not where I stash my bags of leaves, so they didn't get that inadvertent protection. Yes, they all died.

Thanks for turning us on to a new idea, "renegadegardener"! We would love to know, though, what your soil is like, in terms of drainage.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 5:24PM
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