I bought my first amaryllis at Rite-Aid about 3 years ago. I stuck it in a pot
with some purple shamrocks and it bloomed in a couple of weeks. From some
reading, I thought the leaves would die and then I was to cut them back, remove
the bulb, and after dormancy could force more blooms. I just had a few years
of the shamrock constantly blooming and the boring amaryllis leaves and I
didn't know what to do so just kept them in the east window and watered them
I watered the plants a few days ago and noticed nothing. Then, today, there
are these two huge red flowers ready for the holiday. How do I rest the bulb
properly after this? Could I get some more flowers by Christmas?
The best way is to let it bloom, cut off the spent bloom stalks, left
it and let it rest, then replant it in a pot by itself. If you force
it a lot, it'll drain the bulb and kill it off. Forcing is not good.
Took this long to rebuild itself to bloom again.
Amaryllis bulbs really should spend the summers outdoors. There are
several factors in getting it to bloom successfuly year after year. It
should be in a pot that is only two inches bigger than the diameter of
the bulb. It needs to be put outside when there is no more risk of
frost, and left outside either until there is a risk of frost in the
fall, or the foliage had died back naturally. It should be given a weak
(1/4 strength) fertilizer every watering, or every other watering. It
does not need a cold period, but should rest for three months of so in
a dark cool place. After this period, you can bring it back into the
light, and water it sparingly. In about six weeks a flower stalk should
emerge. Once it has started to emerge you can start regular watering
and light fertilizing.
The flower scapes start to form 12-18 months before they bloom, so it
might take a couple of years to get it blooming regularly. They don't
naturally bloom at Christmas - Easter is a more normal flowering time.
The ones you see for sale in the fall have been pulled from the field
early, and dried a couple of months before the ideal time - they have
been forced for Christmas blooms. That doesn't really harm them, but it
means that you frequently won't get a bloom the next year, because they
didn't have enough time to form the scapes.
If you want Christmas blooms, buy a new one in the fall.
I got some butterfly amaryllis bulbs/plants very recently from a friend
of mine that she had growing in the ground in her yard. They had
multiplied to the point that she had to thin them out. I had forgotten
that I had given her a bulb or two 6 or 8 years ago. Since then, I had
lost mine that were in pots.
Tom Miller, Clearwater, FL
If you like tropical plants like hibiscus, please see:
"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?"
I like most of the info listed here. With our greenhouse amaryllis we treat
them a little differently. A new bud for a flower stem develops for every
several leaves. So therefore, the more leaves the better. Depending on where
you live, I'd grow in full sun (20-30%shade in the south). After flowering,
if the leaves are up and growing, start fertilizing on a regular basis. We
use full strength fertilizer every week until mid August. Then begin
withholding water and all fertilizer. Sprinkle lightly with water now and
then until the end of Sept - beginning of Oct. Cut off withered leaves,
repot in a pot 2-3" larger than the bulb diameter (varies if you're doing
clumps and don't let the roots dry out - that is don't let the bare bulb sit
unpotted for any length of time like you see in the store), and water very
sparsely until new growth or flower stem shows. Sometimes we get one first
then the other, and sometimes vice versa. We usually get flowers at
Christmas and flowers again at Easter in this way. It's important to
remember to give the plant as much light as you can give it during winter,
and don't overwater. Water only as much as the plant can use as determined
by the soil drying out. They're not too tricky once you get the hang of it,
and they're very rewarding.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_hippeastrum.html . It
describes the differences between the bulb commonly called
"amaryllis" and the genus Amaryllis. The former is in genus
Hippeastrum, and that page goes into some detail about my
experience with that genus.
I have saved you site for future reference. It appears that what I have is a
Hippeastrum. I appreciated the link you had to the CSU Coop Extension site as
the plant and I live in Colorado. Unfortunately, I couldn't look at the
pictures of your Hippeastrums (ia?) but will try again later.
Thank you for your help.
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