How To Grow And Care For An Amaryllis
Amaryllis are one of those flowers that come at just the right time, to brighten up our holidays with fresh blooms, and brighten the dreary days following in January. Most bloom for up to seven weeks! These gorgeous bulbs send out blooms of white, to deep red, and some gorgeous striped varieties as well. They originated in South America.
If you’ve never grown an amaryllis, you will find they are easy to plant and enjoy. They go dormant and then can be encouraged to re-bloom each winter. Many people force them specifically to bloom during the holidays. You can also purchase one at any nursery, and retail store this time of year. They make great hostess gifts, or a fun little splurge for your own home.
Here’s some simple steps to get yours growing!
• Select a bulb that is plump with roots at the base. Larger bulbs will produce more blooms.
• Choose a pot that is 5-7” across. Amaryllis prefer a more crowded pot in order to bloom.
• Fill the pot about halfway with potting mix and put bulb on the mix, surround with additional potting mix, so the top 1/3rd of the bulb is exposed.
• It’s a good idea to insert a support stake alongside to help with heavy blossoms later.
• Put the pot in bright, indirect light and keep soil moist, but not too wet.
• Within a few weeks, a flower stalk should appear. Turn the pot every few days so the flower stalk gets even exposure to the light, and doesn’t grow crooked.
• Enjoy it for the maximum time by keeping it in a location where the temperatures are in the mid 60’s range. It will do best with lightly moist soil, and diffuse light.
• When the flowers are done, trim the flower stalk to just above the bulb. In late winter, your amaryllis will go into growth mode. Give it lots of sunlight to encourage leaf growth. Fertilize it monthly and keep the soil moist.
• You can put the remaining plant outside in partial shade during the summer. Fertilize lightly every few weeks throughout the summer. You’ll trim the leaves back in the fall when it goes dormant.
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