Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a tropical plant, native to South America, which develops showy, trumpet-shaped blooms on tall stalks. While the red variety of this flower is a popular holiday decoration, amaryllis is available in many other colors including pink, salmon, orange and even a striped variety. They are often disposed of after the holidays when their blooms begin to fade, but if properly cared for, amaryllis will continue to add a splash of color to your windowsill for many seasons to come.
Place the amaryllis bulb and roots into a small container filled with warm water for three to four hours.
Fill an 8- to 10-inch flower pot with an equal mixture of potting soil, composted manure and coarse sand. Carefully plant the bulb in the potting mixture, leaving the top 1/2 inch of the bulb above soil level. Tamp the soil down well.
Water until the soil is damp but not overly moist. Move the pot to a location that will receive direct sunlight the majority of the day and will maintain a daytime temperature of 68 to 75 degrees F.
Continue to add just enough water to keep the soil from drying out. When the leaves emerge, begin to add enough water to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Cut the flowers off once they have faded. When the stems begin to wilt, trim them back to 1/2 inch above the soil. This will encourage a new wave of blooms.
Continue to keep the soil moist until early fall when the leaves start to turn yellow. Cut the stems back to 2 inches from the top of soil and dig the bulb up.
Wipe the bulb clean, being very cautious not to damage the roots, and place in a location with temperatures that range from 40 to 50 degrees, such as a refrigerator. Allow the bulbs to remain there for at least six weeks.
Replant the bulb at least eight weeks before you want it to bloom again.