In the garden, amaryllis bloom in March, April, or May, depending on the variety. Some may produce bloom spikes again in the fall. Container-grown amaryllis will bloom indoors six to eight weeks after potting. Keep the potted bulb in a warm, bright location. You can speed up the bloom time by watering with warm water and keeping the potted bulb in an even warmer place. To slow blooms, move the pot to a cooler location.
You can select the bloom time to give an amaryllis as a gift for a special occasion. Wrap the amaryllis bulb in soft paper towels and refrigerate. Remove and pot six to eight weeks before you would like the amaryllis to bloom.
CARING FOR AN AMARYLLIS AFTER IT BLOOMS
Cut off the flower stem about 2 inches above the bulb. Apply a slow-release fertilizer or bone meal at this time. Do not cut off the leaves after blooming as they produce the food necessary for subsequent blooming. Let them die back naturally.
FORCE LAST YEAR’S AMARYLLIS TO BLOOM BY CHRISTMAS
Withhold water from your amaryllis bulb beginning in early August. Turn the pot on its side or store it in the garage. Allow the leaves to yellow and wither naturally and allow the bulb to “rest” for six to eight weeks. Repot and place the bulb in a warm, bright area and water.
HOW TO FORCE A NEW AMARYLLIS IN WATER
An amaryllis will bloom in a variety of containers. Allow the bulb to rest on a bed of glass marbles or gravel. The newly forming roots will stretch downward toward the water. Give the growing amaryllis good light and keep the water fresh. After blooming, plant the bulb in a pot or the garden.
HOW DEEP TO PLANT AN AMARYLLIS BULB
In a pot, allow the bulb neck, or stem end, to be above the soil. A portion of the shoulder, or sloping section below the neck, also should be exposed. In the garden, only the neck should be above the soil.
WHY WON’T MY AMARYLLIS BLOOM?
Sparse blooming may be caused by:
- Foliage does not receive sufficient light.
- Foliage was not allowed to grow and flourish after blooming. If foliage is removed, photosynthesis cannot occur. No starch is produced for energy for next year’s blooms.
- Bulbs are overcrowded. Divide and replant in the fall.
- Bulbs have sunk too deeply into the soil. In the fall, dig, lift, and replant with the bulb’s neck above the soil.
- Amaryllis are heavy feeders. Fertilize after blooming, again three months later, and when growth begins in the spring.