It’s true. It was gorgeous while it lasted and you’ve heard it’s possible to re-bloom it. Unlike those colorful poinsettias, which should probably be tossed after their show is done, the amaryllis gets better every year! Of course, you have to know how to treat it in order to accomplish that task.
An Amaryllis is one of the most beautiful flowers we can bring into our homes, so it is usually worth the effort to bring it back even bigger and more beautiful next year. BUT, it has to be done right. Let’s give it a try. Here are some directions that may help. They are pretty much a calendar of events to which you need to pay attention.
You have enjoyed the blooms and they are now fading. What should you do right now?
- Remove the fading flower stem to just above the bulb. This is necessary since you do NOT want those blooms to attempt to produce seeds! (Do not remove the leaves, which look like “straps”.)
- Place your amaryllis plant in a sunny window for several months, keeping it moist and fertilized for that duration. The “strap” type leaves will continue to nourish the bulb. (Just like a daffodil needs it’s leaves to produce good bloom the next year, the same principle applies to the amaryllis bulb.) Treat it just like any other indoor plant at this point.
- In order to get that amaryllis to bloom they MUST go through a rest period. In late September, early October begin to withhold water and place the plant in a dark location. Even a closet or your storage area would provide a good spot.
- Cut off the leaves when they turn brown or whither. (about 8-10 weeks)
- In late November or early December, move the plant to a warm location and begin to water it. Again, keep it moist, NOT wet!
OR, maybe you got a bulb at Trader Joe’s (or somewhere) that is needing to be potted? If you need to pot an Amaryllis, here are a few instructions about how to do that. (Generally this would have happened in the early fall, not mid-winter. If you got it in mid-winter, follow the instructions given above.
- Pick a pot that is one to two inches larger in diameter than the broadest section of the bulb. Potted bulbs thrive in a slightly rootbound condition, so better smaller, than larger. Either plastic or clay pots work just fine.
- This pot should be heavy enough to support the amaryllis as it grows tall and top-heavy. This can also be accomplished by placing some gravel in the bottom of the pot as you plant the bulb.
- Use commercial, sterilized potting soil which will drain well. Perhaps having some perlite as part of the soil.
- about 1/2 to 2/3 of the bulb should be above the soil to induce early flowering.
- Water the potting medium thoroughly and then place the plant in a cool, bright location. No more water should be necessary until the bulb begins to produce a sprout. If there is any dry foliage left at this point, it should definitely be removed!
Just a note, sometimes bulb and root rot problems happen when the soil is too wet, or by planting soft bulbs. I always think about an onion. When an onion has a soft spot, that’s not good. The same applies to any bulb, including the amaryllis. If there are soft spots, or you have any thought that your bulb might be diseased, throw it away. It’s not worth trying to bring along a diseased bulb. They are not that expensive. Buy a new one!