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Amaryllis Plant Care

February 11, 2022


Brighten Any Day!

Although amaryllis can be purchased at any stage of development, for many, the real fun is growing the flower from a bulb. Amaryllis bloom about 8 to 10 weeks after planting, in case you’d like them to flower in time for Christmas! These big bulbs are easy to bring into bloom, and even a novice can expect success.

Choose A Bulb!

Amaryllis bulbs are classified by size, which is determined by measuring around the outside of the bulb at its widest point. Generally, the larger the bulb, the more flowers the plant is capable of producing. 

Make sure it is heavy and firm—not moldy, squishy, or injured. It should have some fairly long fleshy roots attached, too.

If you can’t put the bulb in a pot right away, store it in a cool, dry, dark place until you can.

Amaryllis Bulb
Planting an Amaryllis

Christmas Blooms

Amaryllis typically bloom 6 to 8 weeks after they are potted, so if you want your amaryllis in bloom for Christmas or New Year’s, plant the bulb in early to mid-November.

Before planting, soak the bulb’s roots in lukewarm water for a few hours to rehydrate them.

Choose a pot that’s about 2 inches wider than the diameter of the bulb. Make sure it has drainage holes. Use a quick-draining potting mix and bury the bulb so that its top half remains above the surface.

Give the bulb a good watering at planting time, and then water sparingly until growth starts.

Overwatering when you first pot an amaryllis can cause bulb rot and poor root development. After the plant begins to develop foliage, keep the soil slightly moist. Watering once a week should be sufficient, depending on the heat and humidity in your home.

Tips For Growing

Amaryllis prefer temperatures in the range of 60° to 70°F (15.5° to 21°C). Keep them away from freezing windows and drying radiators.

Water sparingly. Only water when the top inch of potting mix is dry, taking care not to get water on the neck of the bulb.

To promote blooming, use a houseplant fertilizer with high phosphorus content.

Once your plant takes off, a support stake may be needed to hold the flower stems upright.

Then, once your amaryllis is blooming, you can move it to a cooler location out of direct sunlight to make the blossoms last longer.

Amaryllis Close Up
Red Amaryllis

After The Blooms Fade

The key to re-flowering is simply making sure the plant stays healthy and growing.

After the flowers fade, cut off the flower stalk with a sharp knife. Make the cut 1 to 2 inches above the bulb. Don’t damage the foliage. In order for the bulb to bloom again next season, the plant must replenish its depleted food reserves.

Leaves should be left on the plant until they turn yellow as they provide nutrients for the bulb so it will rebloom the next year.

Grow the amaryllis as a foliage plant through the spring and summer until the leaves turn yellow. Then store the potted bulb on its side in a cool, dark room or basement to rest for 8 to 10 weeks.


Start the Growing Cycle

Start the growing cycle over just as you did when your first planted the bulbs. Replace the soil with fresh mix, remove any dead leaves and old, peeling bulb sheaths and replant, again leaving the bulb shoulders exposed.

Place your bulbs in bright light and give them one good drink of water. The combination of light and water will “wake up” the plants and encourage them to start growing again. When the first little leaves appear, and not before, begin watering regularly.

Please note: If you give a steady supply of water to a bulb with no foliage, the bulb will rot.


Keep them Blooming

With good care, most amaryllis bulbs will bloom seasonally for years. Some cultivars even develop offspring bulbs alongside the mother bulbs and these youngsters eventually grow large enough to bloom.