Left: Discount Store Two Right: American Meadows
Amaryllis size determines many aspects of the bulbs’ growth: from how tall the stems will be, to how many blooms it produces and how big those blooms will be. We also know that our Amaryllis bulbs are significantly bigger than any other we’ve seen. So instead of just repeating this over and over to each other, we decided to go out and prove it.
Comparing Amaryllis Size: The Experience
I headed out to our local big box stores, where many buy Amaryllis bulbs for the holiday season, in search of varieties we carry to do a true comparison. It turns out that Red Lion Amaryllis is an easy-to-find variety and I was able to purchase it at two separate big discount stores and one big hardware/garden center.
Left: Discount Store One Right: American Meadows
Even at face value, the buying experience is much more pleasant at American Meadows. As I zigzagged through hundreds of people at the big chain stores, I felt a dull pain of anxiety rise in my chest as everyone was out shopping for Halloween. I bee-lined it for the bulbs, which were haphazardly stacked in the center of a random aisle. With almost no information on the difference in varieties, and only being able to choose between 2-3 different Amaryllis Bulbs, it was good I knew what I was looking for.
I much prefer being able to browse dozens of varieties from the comfort of my own home, researching the pros and cons of the different varieties and utilizing Pinterest to help plan my gardening projects.
Comparing Amaryllis Size: The Results
Because I just knew the bulbs were going to be small, I couldn’t wait to get home and unpack the boxes. I was right: all of the bulbs were at least half the size of ours, one being only about a quarter of the size. The bulbs were also slightly soft, which isn’t a good sign – a healthy, viable bulb should be firm. I lined the bulbs up with a hand trowel for comparison photos, which I think speak for themselves.
Left: Chain Hardware/Garden Store Right: American Meadows
What Makes The Size Of The Bulb Matter So Much?
There are many reasons why a bigger bulb means better results. Larger bulbs not only withstand a wider variety of growing conditions but also grow taller stems, which produce more blooms that are larger than those from smaller bulbs.
Margot, our employee Noah's daughter, holds one of our Red Lion Amaryllis in full bloom.
If you look at the comparison photos, you can see that both the bulb and root structures of our bulbs are much larger than the others; this makes it easy to see why our Amaryllis Bulbs will grow taller, stronger and produce larger, more prolific blooms. But just how big? Our Amaryllis bulbs yield famously-large blooms, most reaching at least 8” across.
From left to right: Discount Store 2, Discount Store 1, Chain Hardware/Garden Center, American Meadows
The photos tell the entire story: if you want the biggest, strongest plants with most blooms, go with the bigger bulb every time. And when it comes to Amaryllis, it’s often the only color we’re able to enjoy in the winter months, so why not plant the right bulb for the best results?
Have you had experience growing our Amaryllis bulbs versus those you find at the big box stores? Please share in the comments below!