Getting it Growing

Growing amaryllis is not as hard as people think. We have heard things like: "It is a lot of work! They're not worth growing because they're so hard to maintain!" But nothing is further from the truth.

When you buy an amaryllis it sometimes comes as a kit with a pot and soil or it's simply the bulb that just needs to be planted up in a pot or small container. Either way, there are just a few steps that need to be followed and all will be as easy as 1-2-3!

  • Choose a pot that is only 1 or 2 inches wider than the bulb as they like the tight space.
  • Be sure the pot is heavy enough to support the long stems and large flowers on top.
  • Set a layer of rocks or other drainage material in the bottom to help with quick drainage.
  • Choose good quality potting soil and put enough of it on top of your rocks to allow at least one half of the bulb to be exposed.
  • Place the bulb in the pot and press it into place, add some soil to the sides and press down firmly, until the bulb is down about 1 inch from the rim of the pot. This way when you water it will not overflow.
  • Give the bulb a thorough watering and then water sparingly until you see some stem growth.
  • Place the Amaryllis in a cooler, dark room, where it can focus on developing roots.
  • After about 2 weeks or when some growth appears, move the plant to a warmer location with some sunlight.
  • Water the plant more frequently now, moist but not wet, is good.
  • To prevent the stem from tilting towards the sunlight and toppling over, rotate the pot each day to help the stem grow straighter.
  • Blooming occurs approximately 8 to 12 weeks after planting but will vary with different varieties and the conditions in your home.
  • Once each flower fades you can remove them by pinching them off allowing the plant to concentrate its energy on the remaining blooms.
  • To extend the length of the bloom time, once the flower has opened, move it to a slightly cooler location.

And now there is the option of giving this amazing plant some care after flowering with re‐blooming in mind. There are just a few steps to follow an you will see flowers again the next season.

  • After all flowers have finished blooming, cut the flower stalk off about 1 to 2 inches above the bulb.
  • Do not cut the foliage. In order to bloom again the bulb has to be able to replenish its energy. The large strap‐like leaves absorb sunlight which is converted to energy (food) for the bulb.
  • Set the potted Amaryllis outside in the sunshine in late May or June when all danger of frost is past, or leave it indoors in a sunny location.
  • Fertilize once or twice a month with a balanced fertilizer (10‐10‐10) and water regularly.
  • Stop watering mid to late August.
  • In late September place the potted Amaryllis indoors in a cool, semi‐dark location withholding water.
  • Cut off all the foliage when the leaves have turned brown and let it rest for a few weeks.
  • After the rest period, sometime between mid October and mid November, you should replace the soil and repot the bulb and give it a good watering.
  • Place your now dormant Amaryllis in a cool (10‐ 12 Celsius) location for 8 to 10 weeks.
  • During this time it will focus attention on producing roots.
  • When this period has ended move your Amaryllis to well lit room that is warmer.
  • Water regularly but sparingly now, until new growth appears.
  • Once new growth has appeared continue to keep the soil moist but not wet.

Following these steps, you will be blessed with flowers year after year.

Have fun and enjoy the process!

By Elke Wehinger


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