Amaryllis, also called Bella Donna lilies, are huge flowers, up to six inches across on a tall, 18-inch hollow stem. They are frost tender and must be taken up in cold winter areas and stored inside until spring. In mild winter areas, the lilies will re-bloom year after year if cared for properly. Amaryllis, like other bulb flowers, propagate by seeds and by growing offset bulbs.
Carefully dig around the amaryllis bulb with a hand shovel to see if there are any baby bulbs. If there aren't, the amaryllis doesn't have anything to be divided. The baby bulbs are up against the mother bulb and may be hidden. Chopping through the baby bulb will injure it.
Remove the baby bulbs by grabbing the baby bulb with one hand and the mother bulb with the other and pulling them apart while gently twisting. Do not cut them apart. The baby bulb should pop off.
Replant the mother bulb immediately. The top third of the bulb should be above ground.
Replant the baby bulbs six inches apart, keeping the top third of the bulb exposed. If it's too late in the season and the bulbs will be going dormant soon, store the baby bulbs over the winter by placing them in a brown paper bag. The bag should be in a cool dry place but should not freeze.
Dividing the Bulb
Dig up the amaryllis. Remove the soil and cut off the green leaves. Amaryllis bulbs resemble onions in that the scales are attached to a basal plate at the bottom of the bulb.
Cut the bulb vertically into sections. Each section must have a piece of the basal plate attached to it and at least two scales. Bigger slices produce bulbs and flowers more quickly than smaller slices.
Place the slices in a well-drained planting mixture in a container. Keep in dappled shade. Bulbs will form between the scales of the cutting. When the bulbs have two true leaves, transplant them into small pots. Bulbs should bloom in two years.
About this Author
Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.