Amaryllis bulbs are super easy to grow; just plant the bulb in a 6 or 8-inch pot with good potting soil. Provide bright, indirect light (west window) and blooms will appear in six to eight weeks.
Amaryllis bulbs prefer to be snug in a pot. Use a sturdy, heavy container to keep the top heavy blooms anchored.
In general, it takes five to eight weeks for amaryllis to bloom. Depending on the variety, some bloom faster. Once the first of multiple, fleeting and spectacularly beautiful flowers bloom, they last an average of 10 to 12 days. When the first bloom fades, cut it off.
Have a support stake ready, either inexpensive bamboo (click here) or a wooden dowel, otherwise the tall stalk with weighty blooms will bend over at the base. You can also purchase an adjustable amaryllis stake at Gardener’s Supply (click here).
Planting date Bloom timeframe Dec. 1 Jan. 7-28 Dec. 15 Jan. 19-Feb. 9 Jan. 1 Feb. 6-26 Jan. 15 Feb. 19-March 12 Feb. 1 March 8-29 Feb. 15 April 5-26
You can buy pre-potted amaryllis bulbs or save money and pot a bare amaryllis bulb yourself. I purchased the bulb on the right a few days ago at Lowes for $5. They’re located in the spring bulb section near the garden seeds. It’s not too late in the (indoor) amaryllis-growing season to buy one. If you plant it now, it will bloom around early to mid-April.
Choose the beefiest bulb in the box and one that is showing a green bud. Once you pot it, the bud grows a little bit each day and then suddenly shoots up.
Amaryllis are prized for their exotic trumpet-shaped flowers on 1 to 2 foot stalks or “scapes.” My blooming amaryllis grew to 26 inches.
They’re native to Peru and South Africa. The genus Amaryllis comes from the Greek word amarysso which means to sparkle.
Moisten the potting soil before planting the bulb. Do not use garden soil because it will not drain properly.
Position the bulb so the top third remains above the soil surface.
Once the bud/sprout is 2 inches tall, water regularly.
Rotate the pot periodically during the growing stage to encourage the stalk to grow as straight as possible.
To prolong the bloom, keep away from direct sunlight and heat.
Amaryllis bulbs have been known to bloom for up to 75 years; they make a perfect gift for just about anyone.
In order to have the bulb bloom again next year, a critical step is necessary. After the blooms have faded, cut the stalk back an inch above the top of the bulb. Feed the bulb liquid fertilizer and let the leaves grow. After the threat of frost is over, take the bulb outside, either leave in the pot or plant in the ground for the summer months to store up energy from the sun to bloom again next winter. Don’t forget to bring the amaryllis bulb back in the house at the end of the summer, well before first frost.
After the bulb(s) is brought indoors, store in a cool, dry place like a basement for at least eight weeks. During the dormant stage, stop watering, let the pot dry out and the green leaves will die back.
Pot the bulb again in early December. If you have multiple bulbs, stagger planting for blooms throughout the winter months.