But. Unsurprisingly, that is the opposite of what many gardeners want. After paying scant attention to this trend as talk of it reached me last year, I finally took the plunge and ordered 3 waxed amaryllis bulbs, with plans of buying more. Never fear, I already have 13 of the regular type: huge, beautiful specimens from John Scheepers.
I ignored the ones in our local supermarket, as these had overdone it with the wax, using 3 different colors, but I was able to find plain light green ones (as above) and a red one online. I love planting, forcing, and otherwise working with bulbs in the usual ways, but part of my fascination with them is that they really are as close to plug-and-play as it gets. Just throw them in the ground. This one, which just requires you to place it on a shelf—no watering, no soil—is an extension of that carefree magic. Amaryllises (actually hippeastrum) are already about as magical as plants can get, with their outrageously huge blooms and minimal requirements. The one problem is how to get them to rebloom year after year. One can, especially with the more basic red varieties, but the instructions often involve an outdoor period during the summer, then a basement period, before bringing them to a sunny window to bloom. Which they may or may not do. With the waxed types, there is no question of rebloom, or so I hear; they are one-use.
I am giving a few of these as gifts, to fellow gardeners and to friends/relatives who I know have no desire to take care of any plant. I think they’re fun. However, not everyone is a fan, according to comments on I got on Facebook and Instagram recently:
“Crime against Nature!
“I confess it gives me the creeps. I like roots and soil and all that good stuff.”
On the other hand, some commenters were simply curious, and some love them:
“I don’t know what @#$%^&@ they are, but the 2 I bought bloomed beautifully and twice!”
“I’m all for low maintenance, easy with good returns.”
“I love them. And I’d love to know why y’all don’t.”
“They can be successfully be grown upside down, which makes for a stunning display.”
My only issue is that some vendors have gone too far with decorating the bulbs. Way too far. Otherwise, I say yea.