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Timely tendings: Plant amaryllis, Amazon lily now

Many bulbs can be grown successfully in Florida. Select your caladium tubers as soon as they are available at the garden centers. Put them in shade or partial sun. Some newer varieties with straplike leaves can handle full sun locations. Space tubers 12 to 18 inches apart in a bed prepared with plenty of organic material. Cover the tops with about 2 inches of soil. Firm the soil around tubers to keep air from being trapped between the tuber and the soil. Caladiums grow best in a moist, well-drained soil. Fertilize monthly during the growing season.

If you received an amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.) during the holidays, you can plant it in the landscape or just keep it in the pot. They will bloom each year in the spring. Plant each bulb in a sunny to partly sunny location with the top third of the bulb above the soil surface. Amazon lily (Eucharis grandiflora) can be planted from February through May and will bloom in late winter to early spring. They need partial shade and should be planted with the tip of the bulb on the surface of the soil. Amazon lilies do best if grown in pots.

Information from Carol Suggs and Theresa Badurek of the Pinellas County Extension Service and from the Hillsborough County Extension Gardening Almanac. Go to the extension websites at pinellascountyextension.org and hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu.

Timely tendings: Plant amaryllis, Amazon lily now 03/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 19, 2011 5:30am]

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