Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Amaryllis is one of the easiest bulbs to grow and one of the most spectacular.

Select a larger bulb, that is firm to the touch, as with most bulbs, bigger is better. A few dried roots are normal, but most of the roots should be firm.

Select a pot that is at least 2" wider than the diameter of the bulb, Amaryllis like lots of room for their roots! The pot should be fairly heavy to counter the weight of the flowers. One of the lessons I've learned the hard way flowering plant tends to topple over between waterings.

Soak the plant’s roots in lukewarm water for about an hour. Avoid soaking the entire bulb. I fill a coffee cup with water and suspend the bulb on the rim of the cup.

Amaryllis need well drained soil, so start with a good quality sterile potting soil. Fill the bottom third of the pot with the soil mix. Compact lightly. Set your bulb in the pot and fan out the roots. Add more soil until the soil covers half of the bulb. Compact lightly. Water well. Place the bulb in a warm sunny location.

Be careful not to over water, in the period before the bulb has sent out new roots. Water the plant when the top 1/2-inch of soil is dry.

As a rule, the stems and flowers will appear before the leaves. The plant grows quickly and you will need to remember to rotate the pot every couple of days so that your stem grows straight and does not lean towards the light.

Expect two stems with four blossoms each about 6-7 weeks after planting.

Remove spent flowers. That way, the plant will put energy into producing next year’s flowers and not seed.

Dark green strap like leaves are the keys to next year’s flowers. Over the next 6 months, the leaves will use the energy of the sun to form beautiful blossoms. Your job is to keep the plant evenly moist and in a bright sunny location.

Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.

To force the bulb to rebloom next winter, gradually reduce watering in August. Allow the leaves to yellow and die back naturally.

In September, place the plants in a cool dark location and store for two months.

In November, repot the amaryllis in fresh soil. Place in a bright sunny window and your amaryllis will be ready to give you another season of flowers.

No comments: