This post tells about using Amaryllis plants for fun measurement project. The Amaryllis is usually planted around Christmas time, and will bloom about Valentine’s Day. The stores have these bulbs in kits for holiday gifts. They take about six weeks to bloom. It is said there are few bulbs easier to grow. They can look quite ugly in the box or package. I would like to thank Sarah the florist at Whole Foods in Maple Grove, MN, for over two years of advice about growing this bulb. The first bulbs we purchased at a different florist did not grow well at all, so it took waiting for another year and buying a quality product at Whole Foods to finish this post. Sarah explained the bulbs are all from the Netherlands (where we lived one year) and arrive to the USA the same day. Also, they are supposed to be destroyed if not purchased on a different day when they are past their freshness dates. Apparently, we bought bulbs that were past such a date last year. Live and learn. I’m sure I pestered Sarah until I fully understood about these plants. She was very friendly and kind about helping me! Sarah also helped me with my flower and plant capillary action post.
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This bulb has a shoot starting from the top and the bottom of the bulb, which is unusual. As it grows we watched to see if both sprouts would be able to bloom or not.
It takes a few days for the bulb to start growing. Then the fun begins as it can grow about an inch in a day. Here is some information from the University of Minnesota about these bulbs.
When the bulb begins to grow measure daily
This plant grows rapidly and children find it fascinating once it begins.
When children first learn to measure, they often place the ruler at the one and not the edge of the ruler (as in zero). I have seen this over and over in my first grade classes. Many children have never used a ruler before going to school. It is good to show them measurement tools at home. Here is a picture of measuring a paintbrush as an emergent mathematician might do.
To get past this, rulers with one inch (or if cm if the metric system is used) help children see to begin the measuring at the edge of the ruler. These are “real” rulers schools often use to help children learn about measurement.
It is tricky on a plant as we need to begin measuring from the very same spot each time, which in this case is the top of the bulb. Children will understand why this is necessary. It is like when we see how tall they are!
The plants have amazing growth that is noticeable day by day. Even adult visitors to the house are impressed.
Just a few days later!
It is so much fun for the children to watch the plant growth and see the flowers bloom.
12 trumpets blooming! And it looks like there will be 4 more soon.
Soon it will be time for spring bulb gardens! Children can learn about plant life cycles all year long.
Thank you for reading, Carolyn
*Note: This is a nonaffiliated post and we purchased our own bulbs.