Instructions for Amaryllis Care

Overview

Amaryllis are spring-flowering plants whose 6- to 8-inch trumpet-shaped blossoms top 2- to 3-foot flower stalks. The blooms are red, bright pink, orange, rose, salmon, white, striped and multicolored. Once the flowers have opened, strap-shaped leaves appear. Amaryllis are grown as garden flowers and planted in clumps of 10 or more. The leaves die back to the ground when touched by frost. This subtropical flower is often planted in front of evergreen shrubs and under trees.

Step 1

Plant your amaryllis bulbs between September and January in an area with light shade and good soil drainage. Add to the soil a 3- to 4-inch layer of peat moss or compost and 2 to 3 pounds of 6-6-6 fertilizer per 100 square feet of garden. Plant the bulbs 12 to 15 inches apart.

Step 2

Spread a 2-inch layer of sawdust, wood chips or straw mulch around the flowers. This reduces weed growth, conserves soil moisture and regulates soil temperature.

Step 3

Scratch in two to three light applications of a general, slow-release fertilizer. Space the applications between March and September.

Step 4

Water the amaryllis whenever the soil starts to dry out. Amaryllis grow and bloom better when the soil stays moist.

Step 5

Remove dead blossoms before seed pods start to form. Seed pods will reduce the number of flowers produced the next year.

Step 6

Dig the amaryllis bulbs up each year in September or October after the leaves have turned yellow. Add more organic material to the soil, discard any unhealthy bulbs, remove bulblets and replant at the proper spacing.

Step 7

Spread 6 to 12 inches of straw mulch in the late fall once the ground freezes. This protects the amaryllis bulbs from freezing during the winter. Amaryllis planted in USDA plant-hardiness zones 8 to 10 do not need winter mulch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not baby the amaryllis. Using soil too rich in organic materials, overfertilizing and overwatering will cause abundant leaf growth without flower production.

Things You'll Need

  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Peat moss
  • Fertilizer (6-6-6)
  • Sawdust
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Straw mulch

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Amaryllis
  • Union County College: Plant of the Week: Amaryllis
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing and Caring for Amaryllis
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension Fact Sheet: Hippeastrum x hybridum Amaryllis
Keywords: amaryllis care instructions, amaryllis garden care, growing amaryllis

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.