The Amaryllis is a very popular flower, especially over the festive period. Due to their impressive vase life, they're perfect for contracts. And with their dramatic blooms, they make a real statement at events and weddings!
In this month's Product Profile, we're going to take a look at all the different types of amaryllis available at New Covent Garden Flower Market. And one of the most in demand varieties is Liberty, pictured below.
From the Amaryllidaceae family, the Latin name for amaryllis is Hippeastrum. The flowers are trumpet-like in shape and there are usually two to four blooms on each thick, tubular stem.
Amaryllis come in a variety of colours including white, red, pink, orange, peach and striped/bi-colour. You'll usually find them available from October to March/April and they generally come from Holland.
Native to South American regions such as Mexico, Argentina and the Caribbean, amaryllis have a vase life of eight to fourteen days.
And as well as being a favoured cut flower, they're also a great house plant and are very easily grown from bulb.
Mont Blanc is the most popular individual variety of amaryllis at Nine Elms. And there are lots of red varieties, with Liberty and Ferrari being the most sought after.
Mont Blanc at Alagar
Christmas Gift at Pratley
Ferrari at D G Wholesale Flowers
Red Lion at Pratley
Dordogne at D G Wholesale Flowers
Royal Velvet at S Robert Allen
Benfica at Dennis Edwards Flowers
Britney at D G Wholesale Flowers
Hercules at Alagar
Lagoon at Dennis Edwards Flowers
Lilac Favourite at S Robert Allen
Naranja at Alagar
Rilona at Bloomfield
Nymph at Dennis Edwards Flowers
Exception at DG Wholesale Flowers
Ambiance at S Robert Allen
Mega Star at D G Wholesale Flowers
Maestro at D G Wholesale Flowers
Superstar at Bloomfield
Potted amaryllis, with usually one or three bulbs, are available at several wholesalers at the Market including Arnott & Mason and Evergreen Exterior Services.
And at The Flower Store (which is part of Bloomfield), they have bulbs in glass containers, styled with moss, berries and pine cones.
Amaryllis are sold by the box. The most popular sizes are boxes of 10 and 12 stems, but they’re also available in 8s and 15s.
Bought in bud, they can take about a week to bloom. So, if you're buying amaryllis for an occasion, make sure you allow time for the flowers to open. If you'd like, you can ask the traders to cut and stand them for you. They'll place them in Dutch buckets with a sellotape grid, as shown below at Alagar.
The flower heads can be very top heavy, so it's a good idea to support them by placing a cane inside the hollow stem. This will reduce the likelihood of the huge flowers bending and the stems breaking.
Amaryllis stem ends are prone to splitting and curling, which can look a little unattractive. To prevent this, you can place sellotape or an elastic band around the base of the stems.
The stems are also prone to bending when they're stored in their boxes. Trevor at S Robert Allen says: "We turn the boxes over every day. It keeps the stems straight and stops them becoming U-shaped."
When the buds open, remove the stamens and also take off individual blooms, when they're past their best.
Amaryllis bulbs in pots are becoming increasingly popular as gifts at Christmas time. They require as much bright indirect light as possible during their active growing period, but must be protected from direct sunlight. Rotate the pot regularly to prevent stalks from growing towards the light. Keep the compost moist until a shoot appears, and then water more.
Suitable not only for contract work, but also winter and Christmas events and weddings, amaryllis look wonderful in all different kinds of flower arrangements.
For contracts, they look great arranged in odd numbers in a tall cylindrical vase with ilex berries, pussy willow or sparkly birch twigs. At events and weddings, amaryllis topiary designs are very popular. Simply tie the stems below the flower heads and place them in a container.
Amaryllis, are one of the very few flowers which look great upside down…simply hang them from branches. They also look lovely in hand tied bouquets and floral foam designs.
With regards to potted bulbs, it's best to cover the compost with moss, chippings or the like. You could also insert pussy willow or twigs into the pot and arrange them in a wigwam shape to support the flowers.
Here are some examples of fabulous floral designs using amaryllis by Market customers.
(Source: Mary Jane Vaughan)
(Source: Euphoric Flowers)
(Source: Victoria Flowers)
We'd love to see photos of designs you've made using amaryllis from New Covent Garden Flower Market. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your company name and website address. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Twitter and copy us in, by including @MarketFlowers in your tweet. We'll then upload your photos into this section.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's Product Profile and it's inspired you with ideas for using amaryllis. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments about these wonderful flowers. We'd love to hear from you…