January 31, 2010


My amaryllis spoke to me.  Out loud, making clearly understood sounds.

I was sitting in the living room directly in front of this lovely plant on a sunny winter morning.  Reading, dozing in the weak sunlight coming in from the window.  The house was quiet.

I started to hear a small squeaking sound repeated every few seconds.  Like the noise you hear when you run your fingers over the fat leathery leaves of a Bergenia, also called Pigsqueak because it sounds just like a little oinker when you rub it.

My amaryllis was squeaking the same way, all by itself.  Repeatedly.  I looked closely and saw that the big strappy leaves were slowly, slowly drooping, falling over toward the table.  As they moved ever so slightly, they rubbed at the base, making that tiny pigsqueak sound.   Eeeeeitch.  Eeeeeeeitch.

Water me!  Prop me up!  That amaryllis could not have gotten my attention any more insistently.

The soil was not dry, but in the flush of blooming, and with those great big leaves transpiring heavily, it was losing just enough moisture that the leaves were starting to falter, and it was peeping for a little water.  I gave it some, and in a minute it stopped squeaking at me.  In another few minutes the leaves straightened up, and gratefully but silently, it thanked me and let me get back to my reading and dozing.


  1. the Year of the Amaryllis -- I proclaimed it so, because so many of us had one, or two or more.

    Yours is lovely. I doubt many of us stay quiet enough to hear one ask for water. I do try to remember to give mine a drink. Some put up flowers first, some grow leaves along with the bloom. Mine just now has a tiny fan of leaves.

  2. NellJean, you're right, each amaryllis has its own schedule. I have a second one (deep scarlet) that took forever to leaf out, and is now still holding on to its bud tightly. It may not bloom till the first one is over and done with.


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