How to Grow Amaryllis and Get it to Rebloom Next Year
Amaryllis (amaryllises? amarylli??)…..Anyway, they’re gorgeous flowers you’ll be seeing in every home improvement and big box store over the next 2 months as the holidays approach.
But did you know that though they look exotic, they’re really easy to grow? The best part? It’s even simple to get them to bloom again next year!
Poinsettias, that other ubiquitous holiday plant, aren’t so easy to get to rebloom. In fact, they’re somewhat the divas of the houseplant world. If you’d like the step-by-step rundown on poinsettias, including a free printable covering a full year of care, head here for my Poinsettia Care post.
Growing Supplies for your Amaryllis
When you first bring your amaryllis home from the store (or you receive one as a gift), it may be just a bulb in a box or it may already be growing.
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If it’s just a bulb, you’ll need to supply it with a pot and soil.
Amaryllis blooms are tall and heavy! You need a heavy pot to balance things out so it doesn’t end up falling over.
This one is good. It also comes in multiple sizes, so if your bulb is smaller, you can go with the smaller one and if larger, go for the larger one. Your pot only needs to be about 2″ larger around than your bulb, so you don’t need to go nuts.
Of course, if you’re planting multiple bulbs in one pot, it will need to be bigger and heavier. Just make sure your bulbs have about 1″ of space around them on all sides.
Give your bulb a good quality potting soil. I’m partial to Coast of Maine and I’ve included the Amazon link here so you can see what it looks like, but honestly, go to your local garden center or even Lowe’s or Home Depot and see if you can get it there. It will be cheaper than it is on Amazon and you won’t have to pay shipping.
Planting your Amaryllis Bulb
Planting your amaryllis is simply a matter of moistening the soil and filling the pot about two-thirds full. Then nestle the bulb in the soil rounded (root) side down. Add more soil but leave the top one-third of the bulb exposed.
Water the pot thoroughly and place in a sunny window or under grow lights.
Care of your Amaryllis
Amaryllis plants prefer slightly cool conditions. Conveniently, the average indoor home temperature (65F or so) this time of year is just about right.
Don’t overwater, just about 1/4 cup of water a week is usually enough. Be sure the soil is moist but not wet, and that there’s adequate drainage.
It can take amaryllis bulbs a bit of time to “wake up”, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see any activity for a month or even more. When you do start to see growth, it will likely be the flower bud poking up.
NOTE: In many years of growing, I’ve never had an amaryllis send up leaves first and then bloom that season. If it’s going to bloom, I believe the flower bud will always emerge first.
If the flower stalk seems too heavy as it grows, you might want to stake it, just to be sure it doesn’t fall over. I have had some that got so heavy they fell. If it should fall, it’s not the end of the world. The blooms make lovely cut flowers and will last quite awhile in a vase of water.
Assuming your amaryllis is in a window where the light is coming from the side (not from directly overhead), you’ll want to turn it every few days once the flower stalk emerges so it grows nice and straight.
HOWEVER, once the flowers begin to open, it’s best to remove the amaryllis from direct sunlight. This will help the flowers last longer.
Once your amaryllis flowers, it will begin to send up leaves (if it hasn’t already). You may cut off the spent flowers, and even the flower stalk about 1″ above the bulb, but DO NOT cut off the leaves.
Just as in other plants, amaryllis plants require their leaves to produce energy to feed the bulb for the next season.
Once the weather has warmed and all danger of frost is past, I put my amaryllis outside on my front porch where they get morning sun every day.
I feed them every 2 weeks or so with a dilute houseplant fertilizer like Neptune’s Harvest Rose & Flowering fertilizer. Stop fertilizing about 4 weeks before you’re going to lift your bulbs and get them ready for dormancy (see below).
Your amaryllis will need a period of dormancy if it’s going to bloom again, but it’s not complicated or difficult. Before your first frost, remove the bulb from its pot and let it dry for a week or so, then shake as much dirt from the roots as you can.
You may even find that your bulb made a couple of babies over the summer! Treat these just as the bigger ones, understanding that you probably won’t get flowers from the smaller ones for a couple of years.
Then, I just lay my bulbs on a shelf in the back room of my basement until it’s time to plant them again.
I have to admit my bulbs live in my basement from October until I remember to plant them again, which is sometimes as late as June! Yes, I’m bad, and I don’t really recommend such a long time because I’ve lost some this way.
They really only need a period of dormancy at about 50F that lasts 2 months or so, although up to 5 months is absolutely fine.
Once you’re ready to start the cycle again, just bring them up, repot them, and start over. They’re pretty reliable bloomers and you should have good success if you follow the easy steps I’ve outlined above.
Even if you forget about them (*cough, cough, like me, cough, cough*), bring them up and pot them. I totally forgot one year and didn’t replant them until June. That year, I actually planted them right in my garden. They grew and bloomed just fine, and I dug them in the fall to start over again.
Maybe you don’t currently have an amaryllis but now I’ve made you want one! If so, good! They’re beautiful and so easy, everyone should grow them!
If you’re going to purchase an amaryllis in person, look for the largest bulb you can get. This will be likely to produce the best, biggest flowers for you the first year.
The bulb should be firm to the touch. Steer clear of any squishy bulbs.
Don’t worry if the bulb already has a flower bud beginning to poke out, it’ll just produce a flower a bit sooner for you.
If you’d rather order bulbs online, this page has a dizzying array of varieties and price points to choose from. But be warned, once you start growing these exotic beauties, you may become addicted! I know I am!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and it’s been helpful. I welcome comments and questions, so feel free to post any thoughts below. I’ve also included a few pinnable images. Please pin to your Houseplants or Indoor Plants board for later reference.
Also, did you know Crazy Organic Mama has a Facebook group? We’re a small (but growing!) group of friendly and helpful gardeners from all over the US and Canada, and we’d love to have you join us! Come on over and check us out!
As always, thanks for reading, smile and have a crazy organic day!
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