Amaryllis Plant Management

The lily commonly known as the Amaryllis plant is actually grown from a Hippeastrum bulb. It is related to true Amaryllis which is the Amaryllis belladonna lily. Indoor care and resting instructions.

'Apple Blossom' amaryllis

'Apple Blossom' Amaryllis with Ferns

This page is about the plant commonly but incorrectly called Amaryllis, the Hippeastrum. These are the Amaryllis flower bulbs most often grown for Christmas display.

They are not usually sold as growing plants but as potted amaryllis bulbs ready for indoor cultivation. You can also purchase unpotted amaryllis bulbs and plant them in containers of your own choosing or even outdoors if you live in a warm area or purchase hardy Amaryllis bulbs.

Amaryllis plants have big, beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers that are held on hollow green stems 2 to 3 feet tall. The buds bend down as they mature so that the open blooms face outward. Each stem may bear one or several flowers depending on the cultivar, the age of the bulb, and the care it has received.

The shiny, 2 inch wide straps of green foliage grow straight up (in many cultivars) or may fan outward. The leaves are usually as tall as the flower stems.

Planting an Amaryllis Bulb

Bulbs may be potted from late fall throughout the winter. Expect to see the dramatic flowers 6-8 weeks after planting the bulbs.

For a single bulb, a 6 inch pot filled with a fast draining, slightly acid soil into which you have mixed a teaspoon of Bio-Tone will suffice. Set the bulb into the soil with the pointed side up and about 1/3 of the bulbs height above the soil line.

Next, water the pot and set it in a sunny window inside a warmish (70 degrees F.) room. Do not water it again until after it sprouts.

While the bulb is in active growth, water it enough to keep the soil just barely moist. Feed your fast growing Hippeastrum every other week with Super Bloom fertilizer.

Amaryllis Plant Care

Flower Arranging Tip:

Cut the flowers just as the buds open.

The cut blooms will last for up to a week in water.

Keep the plant in full sun until the flowers begin to open. Then, move it into filtered sun (a sheer curtain will achieve this) or move the pot further from the window.

Reducing the light will serve to extend the life of the blooms.

Once the flowers fade, neaten the plant by trimming of the bloom stalk.

If you want the bulb to bloom again, keep the plant in strong light and continue to feed and water it regularly until the foliage begins to die down.

This is the plant's way of telling you that it is sleepy. Let it rest.

Putting an Amaryllis to Bed

Hippeastrums need a dry spell to induce rebloom. Resting the bulbs is easy, just stop watering and feeding them. Place the pot--bulb, soil, and all--into a dark, cool but frost free place for 10 weeks. A closet or cabinet will do.

Check the stored bulb every few days to make sure it remains firm. If it begins to wither, the soil is too dry; give it a little water.

Once the time has elapsed, water the bulb thoroughly and set the pot in the sun to wake it up. Wait to see new growth before you start feeding it again.

An amaryllis plant can remain in the same pot for several years. It will multiply all by itself. When the pot becomes crowded, knock the plant out of it and separate the bulbs. Give each one its own pot of fresh soil to expand your collection.

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