Amaryllis are stunning lily flowers in colors of red, white, peach, pink, magenta and yellow. Several varieties are streaked or edged with another color. The flowers grow on hollow, 18-inch stems. Each bulb produces one stem. Each stem may have up to five flowers. The bulbs are the size of a softball. The bigger the bulb, the bigger the flowers will be. Amaryllis are usually planted in soil, but they will bloom when forced in water.
Choose a glass container that is an inch or so wider than the bulb and at least 4 inches taller than the bulb. Glass is preferable because you can see the water level inside.
Place a 4-inch layer of pebbles, glass marbles or sea glass in the bottom of the container. The pebbles give the roots something to grow into and stabilize the plant. Amaryllis have such large blooms that they become top-heavy.
Trim off any dead or brown roots at the base of the bulb. Leave any white roots. Place the bulb in the container. Cover the bulb two-thirds of the way up its side with additional pebbles. Again, this helps the plant stay upright. Fill the container with water so it is just below the bottom of the bulb.
Place the container in a warm, sunny window or where it receives bright light. The bulb will start to grow roots in a week to 10 days. Keep the water level up to just under the base of the bulb, but don't let the bulb itself sit in water.
The flower stalk will outpace the leaves. It's normal for the stalk to grow with only one or two leaves. Amaryllis will bloom from four to six weeks after planting.
Cut the blooms off when they wilt. Continue to let the plant grow leaves. Plant it in the garden in warm weather. Don't cover the top one-third of the bulb with soil. If your winters are mild and you don't get frost, the amaryllis will re-bloom the next spring.