|I love Amaryllis. I have had one a guest brought back because it didn’t bloom the year they got it. Come to find out, the bulb needed to be more mature, which happens from time to time, and it took a couple of more years of growth before it started to bloom. So I have had it for roughly five or six years now.
Amaryllis are easy to take care of once you figure out their routine. They go through three different periods—flowering, foliage, and dormancy.
Select a container that is deep enough to allow adequate room for good root development and has drainage. The pot’s diameter should be about one inch larger than the bulb. Although this may seem small, Amaryllis bulbs prefer a smaller container. My bulb has been in the same pot since I got it. Select a potting medium with high organic matter that drains well. Wilson’s potting mix is a good choice. Position the bulb so that at least one-third, preferably one-half, of the bulb, is above the surface of the potting medium. Press the soil down firmly around the bulb, water it
thoroughly and place the container in a warm sunny spot.
|There are other ways to grow Amaryllis, such as having the bulbs sitting above the water with the roots in the water and wax bulbs. But if you plan to keep your Amaryllis for many years. I suggest planting it in the soil.
The bulb may take a couple of weeks to show signs of life. During that time frame, water when the top two inches of soil is dry. Do not let the potting soil stay soggy, or the bulb may rot.
Once the bulb breaks dormancy, it may shoot up one or two leaves before it shoots up the central flower stalk. This is normal. Leave the leaves alone; you will need them later for the bulb to gather nutrients. Once the flower stalk starts, it is only a matter of time before it blooms. Usually 4-6 weeks. Amaryllis are quick growers.
When the flower buds begin showing color, move the plant out of direct sunlight. Doing this will make the blooms last longer. Continue to water like usual.
Once the blooms have died, please wait for the flower stalk to turn yellow and trim it down to the bulb’s base. Do not trim the green leaves off. Place the bulb back into a sunny window and water whenever the top 2 inches of soil is dry.
You can place the plant outside during the summer once all chances of frost have passed.
Fertilize monthly with a houseplant fertilizer from when it breaks dormancy until August 1st.
Bring the plant back inside when August hits, and do not water it. The leaves will start to die back. Once all the leaves have turned brown and yellow, trim them back to the bulb’s base. Do not lift the bulb from the soil. Place the pot in a dark, cool area like a closet for 8-12 weeks. Do not water during this time frame.
During that time frame, the bulb will be dormant—Mark your calendar to remind yourself to remove the pot from the closet.
Remove the bulb from the closet once the 8-12 weeks have passed. Remove it a few weeks before Thanksgiving if you want it to bloom for Christmas. Resume a regular watering schedule and place it in a sunny window. The process will start all over again.
Please note: Keep going if your bulb does not bloom in the second year. Don’t give up. It may have needed more nutrients or was not in dormancy long enough. Adjust dormancy period as necessary to time for Christmas or Valentine’s.
Repot every 3-4 years with fresh soil. Do this when you are bringing it out of the dormancy period.