How to Grow an Amaryllis

A yearly New Year’s tradition at our house is to plant a new amaryllis bulb. Growing amaryllis is so much fun to watch, with their rapid growth, as though they are on steroids. The growth of the bulb from beginning to bloom takes us nicely through the dreary months of January and February. For indoor plants, not much beats a blooming amaryllis.

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Usually I buy the kit, where you get the bulb, pot and soil all together. You can buy the bulbs separately but I find by the time I buy some indoor potting soil I haven’t really saved and it’s easier just to buy the kit. We try a different cultivar each year and to date my favorite was last years, a pure white flower. After my amaryllis blooms, I keep the bulbs over to re-bloom, more on that later.

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This year I bought a solid dark red amaryllis bloom, it looks gorgeous on the picture. Potting up is so simple and tidy, as this time of year we are in the kitchen and not at the outdoor potting bench. Your kit includes an amaryllis bulb, a pot with tray and a disc of soil. Once the disc has been moistened with warm water planting is complete within a few minutes. I place my bulb in a south west window which in the winter seems to be perfect. Within days the bulb leaps to life and never looks back. Once blooming, it usually lasts another few weeks in full glory.

When it comes to getting the amaryllis bulbs to re-bloom for me the following year, I am not very lucky. I believe that I do everything your instructed to do but I’ve yet had a bulb re-bloom for me. I get great growth, however all leaves and no flowers. This is what I’ve been doing.

  • After flowering remove all faded flowers and stalks
  • Keep in a sunny window and slowly reduce water as leaves start to die back.
  • Place in a dark basement, remove leaves as they die back
  • Allow bulb  to rest until the following fall, repot in fresh soil, begin watering and place in a sunny window
  • This is not working for me!
  • I found an article on horticultural facts from the University of Illinois which goes about things a bit differently, and so this year I’m going to follow their advice.
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How to Care for an Amaryllis Plant

  • Remove faded flowers and stalks after blooming
  • Place in sunny window and water as needed
  • After all danger of frost has passed in the spring, place your pot in the garden in a protected site with morning light. Drop plant right into the soil up to the rim
  • The old leaves will flop but new ones will grow
  • Over the summer water as needed and fertilize every 2 weeks with a water soluble fertilizer
  • Towards the fall slowly withhold water
  • If some leaves die down, trim them off then lift pot and place in a dark basement on it’s side.
  • Let rest for 6 weeks and do not water
  • As leaves dry out cut them off
  • After the rest period repot the bulb in fresh soil, begin watering and place in a sunny window to enjoy your re-blooming amaryllis

I hope I have better luck with this method. Does anyone have anything to offer on the topic of amaryllis plant care, and how much luck have you had?

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