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Amaryllis Planting & Care Guide

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Amaryllis

Watching it Grow

The Amaryllis grows quite rapidly.  It develops faster in warm room temperatures and direct sunlight.  When it finally blooms, the spectacular flowers last for two weeks.  After blooming, the stem may be cut close to the bulb.  Replacing the stem will be a long, thin leaf.  By late summer, stop watering completely and the leaves will slowly die away.  By October, the bulb should be placed in a cool, dark place… just like the storage period in Holland.  Once again, if placed in sufficiently cool temperatures in the 50-degree range, the timetable of the bulb will be changed.  After its dormant stage of 8 to 12 weeks, the bulb may be removed and placed in sunlight.  In a few short weeks the planting cycle will start again.

Timing its Bloom

How long it will take before the bulb starts flowering depends on several factors.  Flowering takes longer in the winter than the spring.  On the average, 6 to 8 weeks pass from potting to flowering.  With this in mind, you can time eye-catching blooms to coincide with special occasions.

Helpful Tips

Amaryllis Bulb

  • Choose firm bulbs and remember, the larger the bulbs the more flowers on the stem.
  • If the bulbs cannot be planted immediately, don’t forget to keep them in a cool place.
  • Plant the bulbs in intervals of two weeks for consistently beautiful blooms in your home.

Impressive…  distinctive…  beautiful…such superlatives are often used to describe one of the world’s largest flowering bulbs…  the Amaryllis.

Its official name is Hippeastrum and it originates form the tropical regions of South America.  This statuesque flower accentuates any home décor and is available in many different colors, including pink, red, salmon, orange and white. Though it may be large, it is one of the easiest of all bulbs to grow. And, like so many of Holland’s marvelous bulbs, some easy steps will bring those wonderful blooms back for more than just a year.

Planting Period:  October to May

Flowering period:  December to June

The amaryllis bulb varies in size.  As a rule, larger bulbs produce more stems and flowers.  The Amaryllis will normally bloom in the spring, but before it reaches retail outlets in the United States, it is stored under cool temperatures of 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  Those cool weeks in storage turn ahead the bulb’s genetic clock.  So when Christmas arrives and the Amaryllis is blooming beautifully, it actually thinks it’s springtime.

Planting the Majestic Amaryllis

Before planting, place the bulb and its dangling roots in lukewarm water for several hours.  This is a good prep for planting.  If the bulb cannot be planted immediately after purchase, then store it in a cool area of about 50-degrees Fahrenheit.  Plant Amaryllis in pots slightly larger than the diameter of the bulb.  Cover the bulb up to about an inch from the neck with potting soil.  Do not fill the pot with too much potting soil (or moisture retaining compost,) but leave enough room for watering.  Be careful not to damage the roots.  Press firmly on the soil around the bulb to be sure it is steady.  In the first few weeks, water sparingly, until the bud and part of the stem have developed sufficiently.  Direct sunlight will help the plant grow properly.  When the green buds and leaves begin to show, more water may be added periodically.

Amaryllis Bulb Diagram

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