How To Enjoy Amaryllis All Year Long
Every year in anticipation I've watched my beautiful red Amaryllis bloom into the most magnificent holiday flower. I have several bulbs that bloom beautiful, vibrant red flowers adding a touch of beauty and elegance to our living room as well, they stimulate the senses. Sadly though it's a short lived pleasure as it will bloom for two to three weeks; eventually the petals fall off and the leaves start to wilt and sag; I dread when this happens! Amaryllis are thoughtful holiday gifts but some people throw them out sadly after the blooms die whereas some people store them in a cool place and forget about them until the next holiday. How sad is that when the bulbs are so expensive and the flowers are so unique and beautiful, why not enjoy them all year long?
A couple of years back after the holiday decorations had been taken down and the world looked grey and bleek outside until the first blooms of spring emerged, I started enjoying my Amaryllis all year long which was much easier than I thought it would be. I started adding different colours to my collection and started recycling them in stages so that I always have them in bloom throughout the year and have been adding different colours to match the seasons; red at Christmas time, pink in the spring, two toned in the summer and orange or salmon in the fall. I only plant them in pots and containers as I fear they won't do well in the ground in the summer or that bugs and our lovely fury woodland creatures will destroy them.
They're one of the easiest flowers to grow and really don't need any special attention or care and the beauty is they can be grown indoors in the winter months or outdoors in the summer months really adding beauty to our patio or outdoor living space. They're much like the tulips that can be forced to re-bloom by storing them in a cool dry place.
We've compiled some tips and 'how to' information so you can enjoy your Amaryllis throughout the year like we do.
Place the base and the roots in lukewarm water for a few hours which will awaken the bulbs if they've been in storage for a very long time.
Use premium high nutrient potting mix or compost.
Plant in container with good drainage. about an inch or two larger than the bulb; they don't need alot of space to grow.
Firmly press the soil to set the bulbs in place insuring you do not damage or break the roots and leave the neck of the bulb exposed and water occasionally (water when soil is dry) placing it a spot with direct sunlight (they like warmth ~ 70F +) as this is vital for stem development.
Water more frequently when the stems start to grow insuring soil is damp not soaking wet as overwater can cause the bulb to die; in about 8 weeks you'll have stunning blooms.
After the Amaryllis has stopped flowering and the stems have started to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb and continue to water until new leaf growth develop (these will give them energy for the next bloom) and those leaves turn yellow, cut them down, clean off the bulb and store in a cool dry and dark place (we use our secondary fridges vegetable crisper ~ 40 to 50F) for up to 6 weeks and tag/schedule them with a future date for replanting 8 weeks before you would like them to bloom again.
SAMPLE PLANTING SCHEDULE
PLANTING DATE BLOOM DATE
Oct 1 Dec 1
Feb 1 April 1
June 1 August 1
Oct 1 Dec 1