What is everyone's opinion on that pad of compressed planting mix that comes
with some amaryllis bulbs? I used it for some of mine, and they do not seem
happy. (sometimes the leaves just droop down.) Should I take them out and
put the in real potting soil?
Yes. That stuff is only good to keep down shipping weight. I've had some of
my amaryllis bulbs for over 20 years. As the bulb gets bigger you'll have to
repot if you keep them for any length of time. Don't replant to a pot much
more than about an inch or two larger than the bulb is around. I planted 5
bulbs in one pot leaving about an inch between the bulbs and an inch to the
edge of the pot just to see if that would work, it did. They were pretty
magnificent on my coffee table this Christmas. I just use a very good
quality potting mix. I stick them in the back room after they bloom, cut the
stem down, keep them lightly watered and put them outside about May. I
foliar feed them once a week during the summer, quit watering and feeding
about the first of August. The leaves have pretty much died down when I
bring them in just as the nights are getting really cold. I put them in a
closet and forget about them until Halloween. If I am going to repot this is
when I do it. Then I put them near windows and start watering.....Mine start
blooming about Christmas and on through March, depending on what kind they
are. I repot mine about every 2-3 years...or longer. They like to be snug.
A long ago neighbor gave me my first amaryllis and told me how to take care
of it. I've never done much reading about it since his advise seems to work
fine for me. I have over 2 dozen now.
Amaryllis belladonna requires a well-draining potting mix. Hippeastrum
requires a rich potting mix. My do-it-yourself mix is both. See my
For the differences between A. belladonna (commonly called 'Naked Lady')
and Hippeastrum (commonly called 'Amaryllis '), see my
<http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_hippeastrum.html . Although
related, their cultural requirements are somewhat different.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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