Why we start sending the amaryllis at the end of October?
Dutch Amaryllis bulbs are grown in greenhouses as the climate in Holland is too cold to grow them in the open air. In the greenhouses the growers can create the ideal conditions of the tropical area of origin (the Andes in South America).
The harvesting of the bulbs is done from the end of august till late september. At this time the bulbs are still in full leaf and growing. The new buds have then reached the so-called G+ stage. This stage is the minimum that is needed to bloom after a good preparation period.
The cold storage treatment is very important for a successful bloom directly after planting.
After digging up the bulbs they are removed from soil and dried in special climate chambers. The new buds inside the bulbs are now about 2 cm / 0.8 inches. The fresh harvested bulbs are now ready for their cold storage treatment / preparation. This period is very important for successful blooms after planting. When the bulbs are planted now (without this cold storage), they will do nothing or re-start making leaves and not bring up the new flower buds. You will have to wait for months until they start flowering.
During the cold storage treatment the temperature is around 13 degrees Celsius / 55 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 70% – 80%. These circumstances will make the new flower buds inside the bulbs grow. After 6-8 weeks the buds have grown till 4-5 cm / 2 inches and are ready to be shipped to your houses.
If the preparation is too short or at the wrong temperature, then problems may arise. If your bulb doesn’t flower after planting although you have placed in a light and warm spot, it might not have had the correct treatment. But no worries an Amaryllis will always flower, even if the preparation has been wrong. Remember that forcing Amaryllis into bloom yourself is easy and gives you weeks of breathtakingly beautiful flowers.
So in order to deliver you successful blooming bulbs, a proper cold storage treatment is very important.