This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Few plants equal the Amaryllis in the size, diversity, and splendour of its flowers, as well as in its elegant habit. All admire it when they do see it in bloom; but, as usually managed, it is unfortunately so uncertain of flowering, that few, very few, care to cultivate it.
I believe that out of a collection of a hundred plants I lately saw in a first-rate establishment near London, there were not twenty that shewed for flowering. 1 recollect once having received a dozen bulbs that were purposely selected for me as likely to bloom, but all failed. The next year I adopted the following expedient, by which I caused no less than ten out of the dozen to shew their beautiful flowers (they were hybrid varieties from Ghent).
When the foliage had withered in autumn, the bulbs, in their pots, were placed in a dry situation, in which they remained even till the 30th of April, a period some weeks later than that at which they are usually started into growth. Part of the soil was now carefully crumbled away from their roots, without breaking their strong fibres; and the bulbs being repotted in a dark peaty loam, were plunged in a hot-bed in a common frame; - their growth was as rapid as its effects were gratifying; for in a very few days they shot up their foliage with an accompanying flower-stem, ten out of the twelve. I attributed this happy result to their unusually long period of rest, it having been protracted much beyond their stated time of growth, - to their roots not having received any injury from being tumbled out of the pots and stored away, - and further, to their being rapidly started into growth by bottom-heat.
Let others follow these instructions, and I doubt not of their success; nor let this " reminiscence" be thought the less of, because it is simple, and devoid of mysterious recommendations.
Hull, 8th June.