Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Amaryllis late bloomer

Do You Know a Late Bloomer?


The amaryllis flower was a Christmas gift more than a year ago. Thankful that I live in Florida, I planted the bulbs outside after the blossoms died.

Then I waited for one year, eager to see a repeat of the beautiful blooms the following Christmas.

You see, the amaryllis has grown in popularity as a Christmas flower. With bright red blooms, they are beginning to rival poinsettias as a favorite flowering gift during the holiday season.

Anyway, back to my plant…

The next Christmas came and went. But while the bulbs put forth green leaves, it failed to flower. I considered uprooting the plant but decided to leave it.

Four months later, I was glad I did. Just last week, two vibrant red flowers blazed from the single stem, with two additional buds following a few days later—a glorious show of color.

Is my plant a late bloomer? Possibly. But then a friend shared a similar experience on social media. Could it be both our plants were late bloomers?

An internet search solved the mystery. Amaryllis naturally bloom in the spring. Withholding light and water for three months, then placing the plant in bright light and watering it, forces the blooms at Christmas.

This made me wonder about people. If you’re like me, there may be a person or two in your life who you have identified as a late bloomer. You might have even been told you were a late bloomer. Then again, maybe you simply hadn’t received what you needed to blossom.

Encouragement at just the right time.

Training and equipping for the task at hand.

Someone to come alongside to mentor and coach you.

How many people are walking around today with the same undeserved label? Judged by hasty assumptions based on what others see at first glance. The potential for vibrant flowering blooms nipped before anyone could see the purpose for which God created them. Critical words bury the blossoms so deep that no one is able to be blessed by their beauty.

Maybe it’s a cognitive limitation. Or a physical disability. Perhaps the difficulty is emotional. Or maybe the potential for vibrant blooms has been crushed by the weight of wrong choices or past abuse.

But, as the saying goes, God doesn’t make junk. Each and every person is a masterpiece of the Creator, made ready to blossom at just the right time in just the right place.

You and I can facilitate the flowering or we can stifle it. We can water a tender plant or crush it. Which will we choose?

How is God calling you to help a late bloomer in your life today?


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  1. Lynn

    Beautifully expressed. Thank you, Ava. We bloom at exactly the right time.

  2. Jennifer Bratt

    Lovely Ava

  3. Suzann

    Thank you Ava. You put it so well.

  4. Karen Friday

    Ava, such a beautiful flower with an interesting back story. And a great analogy to the many times we attach the false label of late bloomers to others.

  5. Candice Brown

    I love this! When mentoring ladies in recovery, I often try to be the encourager I did not have when I was young. Every one of them is far more beautiful and valuable than they could imagine; they see themselves as your green leaves- at best, if not the dreary amaryllis bulb. But as I see their beauty despite their need for growth, they tend to blossom. Great analogy!

  6. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Candice and Karen!

  7. Melissa Henderson

    Encouragement and compassion can be blessings to late bloomers and to those who are not late bloomers. I appreciate people who encouraged me when I had some wild teen years. God placed those wonderful people in my life to guide me along the path to Him.

  8. Nancy E Head

    We had a similar experience with daffodils my husband planted quite some time ago. We had given up on them. And now here they are!

  9. Jessica Brodie

    I have been a late-bloomer in so many ways! Thanks for this encouragement. I love the analogy!

  10. Yvonne Morgan

    Great encouragement to not rush to judgement on someone. I love the analogy. Thanks

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