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Amaryllis Growing Guide

DAZZLING DISPLAYS of gargantuan flowers are a snap with the foolproof Amaryllis. Easy to grow, Amaryllis bulbs should be planted in late fall for holiday flower displays which can last 7 weeks or even longer.

Amaryllis go dormant naturally and re-bloom sometime in winter. However, you may force your Amaryllis into bloom for the holiday season. Here are directions for forcing your bulbs for holiday displays, as well as general care and propagation for your Amaryllis plant.

Forcing Bulbs for Holiday Displays

Supplies

– Amaryllis bulbs, select firm bulbs with some roots.

– A pot slightly larger than the bulb, ½ – 2″ around the sides of the bulb. Bulbs bloom best when they are snug in the pot.

– Well-draining potting mix

– Bamboo stalk if you choose to stake your plant.

Amaryllis Red Dragon Planting

1. Determine the date you want your Amaryllis to bloom. Plants should bloom 6-8 weeks after planting.

2. Partially fill the pot with potting mix and place the bulb so that top third of it is exposed. Fill in potting soil around the sides of the pot.

3. Some of the larger or double varieties can get top heavy and may need to be staked. Place a bamboo stake along side the bulb when planting. Inserting the stake now will help you avoid damaging the bulb and roots later.

4. Water well. While growing, keep watering, allowing the soil to almost dry out before watering again. Amaryllis like moist, not wet soil.

5. Place your Amaryllis in bright, indirect light.

6. The first flower stalk should shoot up within a few weeks, followed by one, two, or even more stalks. The flat leaves will appear as the flower stalks mature.

7. To ensure your plants grow straight, turn the pot every few days, so that the plant’s sides get equal light exposure.

8. Feeding is not necessary for blooming, as all the energy it needs for flowering is in the bulb.

Growing Amaryllis for Years of Holiday Displays

1. When the flowers fade, cut the flower stalk back to just above the bulb.

2. Keep plants in bright light. Plants can be moved outdoors for the summer, in partial shade.

3. Continue to keep well watered.

4. Feed your Amaryllis with a half strength water soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. Stop feeding in August.

5. Determine what specific time, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other special date that you want your Amaryllis to bloom. Count backwards about 10-12 weeks. This is the day you will bring plants indoors.

6. Bring your Amaryllis indoors to a cool (55 to 60 degrees F.), dry spot and stop watering it. The foliage will already be dying back.

7. After a dormant period of about 6 weeks, the lack of foliage and water will induce the Amaryllis to send out a flower stalk. Resume watering at this time and move the plant to a warm, sunny spot. More stalks and leaves will follow shortly. When flowers fade start the process over.

Allowing Your Amaryllis to Re-bloom Naturally

Allowing your Amaryllis to re-bloom naturally will result in larger plants and flowers.

1. Cut off the flower stalk after blooming ceases, but let the foliage continue to grow as long as it can. Keep it in bright light, indoors or out.

3. Continue to keep well watered. Amaryllis like moist soil, but not wet.

4. Feed your Amaryllis with a half strength water soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. Stop feeding in August.

5. Bring indoors before frost and place in a cool spot in indirect, bright light.

6. The leaves will start to yellow and drop around December. Keep watering as usual and new flowers stalks should appear in a month or two. Resume feeding at this time and move the plant to a warm, sunny spot. Leaves will follow shortly and then blooms.

7. When the flowers fade, start the process over.

General Care & Growing Tips for Amaryllis

Whatever method you choose, resume feeding your Amaryllis, after flowering.

As your Amaryllis bulb gets larger, you will need to increase the size of the pot. Just make sure it’s still a cozy fit.

Amaryllis bulbs will produce side bulbs, like daffodils. Carefully remove these bulbils and pot up for more plants. A few seasons of growth will be needed before flowering.

Amaryllis need warmth for forcing, but flowers will last longer if the plant is kept in a cool spot, once it blooms.

If your Amaryllis won’t go dormant, remove the remaining leaves and repot.

Pest problems include spider mites and mealy bugs.

Reasons Amaryllis Don’t Bloom

– No rest period. Plants should go dormant for 6-8 weeks.

– Insufficient light while actively growing. Bulbs get their energy for blooming from their leaves. Correct by moving plant into a sunnier location.

– Lack of nutrients in soil. Correct by fertilizing regularly.

Varieties

Amaryllis come in a large selection of colors, sizes and shapes. From white, pink to deep red solids, or others can be stripped or blotched. Flowers can be single or double. See varieties here.