Saturday, November 11, 2023


 last year's saved waxed Amaryllis bulb.

At the end of the 2022 holiday season, friends talked about cutting the spent Amaryllis bloom, removing the bulb from the soil and storing in a paper bag in the garage or a closet.

The "what if" side of the brain kicked in.  I decided to try the same process with the waxed Amaryllis bulb I had been gifted.  After blooming, the waxed bulb was put in a paper bag and stored in the garage.  On the first of November I brought the bulb in.  Then the question was "now what"?  I found the answer in a fact sheet from the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension from January 10, 2022.

The process starts with carefully removing the wax.  Try to leave as much brown covering on the bulb as possible.  The wax removal on the base can be a little delicate.  My bulb had actually started growing roots along the base so I was extremely careful not to damage the area where I could see growth.

Next step was to find a suitable container.  Suggestion was to use the lid of a bakery box from the store.  I am using a berry box.  A paper towel should be at least a double thickness and should be folded to fit.  The towel should be barely damp.  Place the container in a sunny window and monitor the towel dampness 
every few days.  After one-week, white roots are starting to appear.  When 4 or 5 roots are approximately 3 inches long, I'll transplant to container with potting soil.  The soil level should be just slightly below the top of the rounded part of the bulb.

Now that the recovery effort is under way, the wonder begins of how to turn a 2024 purchased bulb into a waxed Amaryllis bulb.

The magic machine knows everything.  I was hoping to find a research-based educational source.  What is available are blogs, some with more involved details than others.

The basic process is to soak the bulb in water for 4 to 6 hours, soak should only cover half the bulb.

Dry for approximately 2 hours.

Cut off the basil plate (the flat area where the roots will grow).  That will shock the bulb into a survival mode thinking that it is dying which forces it into trying to reproduce itself.  Let the bulb dry for a few hours. Regular household paraffin is used, also candle stubs.  Now you know why you saved the old candles.  Wax is melted in a double boiler (water in the bottom pan, wax in top pan), or in a clean tin can placed in a pan of water.  

Paint the wax on the bulb using a narrow brush or it can be dipped into the hot wax.  Process should be repeated several times for good coverage.  Application should be from the neck down covering the sides and the base.  Bulbs can be decorated with craft glitter, spray painted or gold leafed.

Place the bulbs in a warm area that receives sun to encourage growth.  Bloom time is 4 to 6 weeks.

Seems like we just put the gardens to bed and already we are thinking of Holiday decorations.  Time flies. 

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