December 15, 2007

Winter Cheer, Amaryllis

Amaryllis are large, flowering bulbs originally from the Andes Mountains of South America.  They are very popular plants during the holiday season, and they grace us with dazzling trumpet-shaped blooms for weeks on end.  Unfortunately, once those lovely flowers fade, the plants are often discarded.  What many people don’t know is that with proper care, the amaryllis bulbs can be even stronger and more productive the following year.  Here’s how it’s done.

After the amaryllis has finished blooming, cut the flower stalk to 1 to 2 inches above the bulb.  Place the remaining plant with its blade-like leaves in a warm location with bright, filtered light. Water regularly and feed with water-soluable fertilizer every 2 weeks. When it’s warm enough, you can set the plant outside, out of direct sunlight, and continue to water and feed it.  In September, enforce a dormant period by setting the plant in a dark closet, withholding water for 8 weeks.   Then, bring the plant out, cut off its wilted foliage, top off with fresh potting soil, water thoroughly, and place the plant in a warm sunny spot.  Don’t water again until a new flower stalk emerges.  Then, resume the watering and feeding cycle and enjoy your beautiful amaryllis blooms.

I have always loved amaryllis.  Their blooms really brighten up those long winter months.  I always make sure that there are plenty of bulbs planted in succession so that the house is filled with color each and every day.  I hope this will inspire you to get some amaryllis started really soon.

Here is a recent photo of the amaryllis in my greenhouse

All lined up and ready to grow!

Unbelievable Colors
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For more information, visit my website! Amaryllis at