Amaryllis or Hippeastrum is a gorgeous house plant to grow and gift during the holiday season. Bulbs are readily available in stores and come in many beautiful shades of red, pink, white, salmon and orange. Originally from South America, Amaryllis bulbs are fast and easy to grow indoors during the winter. They reward you with huge, long lasting, bold flowers on tall, sturdy stems. They are easy for children to grow and our kids used to love to grow them for their teachers every winter. I usually have a few on the go for gifts too.
How do you care for an amaryllis bulb?
If you are buying new bulbs, always select the largest size possible, as like outdoor bulbs, older and larger bulbs will provide more flowers. Pot bulbs in November or December, and enjoy the flowers for the winter.
What do you do with amaryllis bulbs after they bloom?
If you have an Amaryllis that has finished flowering, it can be brought into flower again every year by following these steps:
- After flowering is finished in late winter, cut down the flower stems and continue to water and fertilize the leaves for about 5 – 6 months. After all danger of frost has passed in June, plants can be placed outside to continue growing in the sun and fresh air.
- Bring the plant indoors in September or October, before the first frost. When the leaves begin to yellow, cut them back to about 2″ above the bulb.
- Either remove the bulb from the pot and place in a cool, dark place such as the crisper of your fridge or leave the bulb in the pot and place in your basement – also cool and dark. The bulb now needs at least 6 weeks of rest. Do not allow the bulb to freeze.
- After the 6 week rest period the Amaryllis bulb can be started growing again with light and water. Allow 8 weeks for blooms.