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How to grow Amaryllis6 Tips to Successfully Grow Amaryllis

The beautiful flowering bulbs that so many of us associate with the holidays and call amaryllis are actually not a true amaryllis, but rather belong to the genus Hippeastrum and consist of hybrids of several species originating from South America and South Africa. Hippeastrum or Dutch amaryllis, as they are commonly known among the easiest, showiest and longest lasting bloom time of bulbs to successfully force indoors.  Force amaryllis indoors while you are waiting for tulips and daffodils to bloom

Versatile to any décor, you can accent any room in your home with these vibrant flowers or surprise a friend or family member with an amaryllis as a gift!  When using potted bulbs indoors, remember to protect tabletops from moisture or water damage by placing potted amaryllis on pot saucers or on plates set on a waterproof coaster or cork pads.

Tip: Force amaryllis along with hyacinths for a fragrant burst of spring color in winter!

The Top 6 Tips to Successfully Grow Amaryllis:

1.     Water sparingly until growth begins.

2.     Keep plant in bright light – until flower opens.

3.     Once the amaryllis flower begins to open, move the plant out of direct sunlight or high heat areas, so its blooms will last longer.  Place in a cool spot when not at home for longer bloom time. 

4.     Sometimes amaryllis will become top-heavy and tippy, to correct this problem simply double pot the amaryllis (place this pot into a larger heavier pot, to provide more stability) and add some decorative moss around the plant. To support foliage that may want to bend under the weight of the blooms, simply insert a small wooden chopstick (being careful not to damage the bulb) and secure the fronds with raffia or a festive ribbon.

5.     Water regularly once growth is underway, keep soil moist not soggy.  Let water run out the bottom drainage hole and pour away. Never let the pot sit in a water-filled saucer this causes the bulb and soil to get water-logged.

6.     Each stem will produce four or more flowers.  As each bloom fades, snip it off. When all blooms on a stem have faded, cut the entire stem off about an inch from its base. Your bulb will probably produce a second stem with four more flowers.  Don’t assume the show is over after the first stem-full fades.  Sometimes a 3rd stem pops up.

Where to Buy Amaryllis Bulbs

Amaryllis bulbs are available typically starting in November and December. You can purchase Amaryllis bulbs individually or you can purchase Amaryllis bulbs in kit form. Stargazer Perennials offers quality complete Amaryllis grow kits at a reasonable price online or at our farm and nursery in Summerville, Oregon.

How to Make Your Amaryllis Rebloom

Amaryllis, unlike paperwhites, hyacinth and tulips, that have been forced will continue to bloom year after year if you follow these few basic steps.

1. Fertilize amaryllis regularly during the growth cycle starting one month after planting (when active growth is underway). 
Use an organic ouseplant food such as Maxi-crop or other kelp based liquid plant food.

 2. After the bloom cycle has finished, trim off the stems just above the bulb nose.

 3. Continue growing the amaryllis plant in bright light, watering regularly to keep soil moist.

 4. During the summer keep the pot watered and fertilize monthly.

 5. In September (or prior to the first frost) bring the pot inside.

 6. In order to stimulate reblooming the amaryllis must ‘rest’. To accomplish this stop watering the plant, and place the bulb (still in pot) in a dry cool place or closet for 8-10 weeks.

 7.  Do not store the amaryllis plant near ripening fruit (such as apples) which emit ethylene gas.  This naturally occurring gas damages flower development.

 8.  After 8-10 weeks, add a little more potting soil to the pot, or, if you like, repot the amaryllis.

 9.  To repot in fresh soil:   Fill the space under and around the bulb with potting soil.  Leave the “shoulders” of the bulb exposed (the top 1/3 of the bulb).  Use a pot sized only slightly larger around than the bulb itself.  Usually a 6- or 8-inch pot is perfect.  For a more dramatic display of flowers, plant three bulbs with flowers of the same color together in a broad-based pot sized just big enough to hold all three bulbs.  All pots must have drainage holes.

 10. To initiate growth during the winter, place the potted amaryllis in a warm site.

 11. Water thoroughly, making sure that no standing water remains.  In subsequent weeks as, water sparingly until new growth appears.  Once growth emerges, water regularly to keep soil moist (never soggy) and resume a fertilizing program.

 12.  The amaryllis will bloom again, about 8 weeks after the first watering.