How To Kill Your Amaryllis

December 6, 2015 | By | Comments (2)
Waxed Bulbs


I think you’ll agree with me that growing beautiful plants gets old after a while. Wouldn’t it be great if someone came up with an easy way to kill them? They have! Now you can buy amaryllis bulbs coated with wax in a rainbow of festive colors! I mean, what says Christmas better than a bright yellow amaryllis bulb destined to shortly die?

Grumpy is tearing up now.

Wax-covered amaryllis bulbs are pure genius. See, before waxing, the bulbs already had enough moisture and food stored inside them to produce one or two flower stalks that will elongate and bloom. Without wax, you’d have to plant them, water them, care for them, and who needs that around the holidays? I mean, just lining the house gutters with tacky icicle lights that look like sparking power lines is enough work, right? Waxed bulbs need nothing — no light, no water, no soil, no commitment. They even come with little stands on the bottoms so they’ll sit up straight.

Of course, after they bloom, the bulbs will immediately die, because they can’t be watered. Don’t think you can get around this by stripping off the wax. Before waxing, the growers cut off the basal plate of each bulb where roots form. Waxed bulbs are a one-shot deal, so you have to buy more next year. Brilliant!

Waxed amaryllis bulbs remind me of another waxed product that has a very short life in my house.

Maker's Mark

Photo: Steve Bender

Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky. Smooth, mellow, so good neat or on the rocks. I dipped this bottle in wax myself at the Maker’s Mark distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. Lucky I didn’t drink any before I did or I might have dipped myself and gone the way of the amaryllis.

But say you’re a wacko appalled at the idea of killing perfectly good bulbs that, if planted, could bloom year after year? Then you’ll want to read this story: “Amaryllis After Christmas — Now What?”


  1. The Houseplant Guru

    I love this! Where have I been? You are hilarious!
    Anyway, on a more sober note…..I hate what people do to houseplants, mostly for the almighty dollar because it is a sure way to sell more plants when they DIE! (as they planned all along)

    January 10, 2016 at 5:27 pm
  2. Diane

    So for what occasion are you saving the Makers? Five years in the bottle will not hurt it, but just like the amaryllis bulbs designed to be tossed, it’s not living up to it’s full potential! Crack that lovely red wax seal and enjoy it the way God intended, sipped slowly.

    December 8, 2015 at 1:39 pm

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