The amaryllis is a tropical bulb plant that produces a tall flower stalk with large trumpet-shaped blooms in the colors of red, white, pink, orange and stripes. The plant is native to South America and hardy to plant outdoors in USDA growing zones 9 to 11. Amaryllis plants are often sold during the winter holiday season as a container plant for indoor use. The bulb blooms in late December through early summer. Amaryllis bulbs will bloom again when manually put through a cold dormant period.
Prepare the amaryllis bulb for planting by placing it in a bowl of lukewarm water for two hours. This will start the growing process.
Select a planting container that has bottom drainage holes and is approximately 1 to 2 inches larger in diameter than the amaryllis bulb. Place a layer of high nutrient potting compost into the bottom of the container, and set the amaryllis bulb on top.
Fill the container with potting compost to the neck of the amaryllis bulb. Pack the potting compost to secure the bulb. Do not push hard on the bulb as it may damage the roots.
Water the compost after planting until water flows out the bottom drainage holes. Do not let the planting container sit in a pool of water, as this will create an environment for root rot.
Place the potted amaryllis in an area that receives direct sunlight and maintains a temperature of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The bulb must receive three to four hours of light each day to grow and produce flowers.
Water the soil once it becomes dry to the touch. Increase the water applications once the leaves and flower bud emerge from the bulb so the soil remains evenly moist.
Fertilize the amaryllis bulb every two weeks with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer once the leaves emerge.
Remove the flower once it fades and the stem sags. Water the bulb through the summer season to keep the soil moist and the leaf foliage green. Cut the leaves to a height of 2 inches when they start turning yellow in the fall season.
Remove the bulb from the growing container and brush off the soil. Store the bulb in a cool location with a temperature of 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Replant the bulb six weeks after placing it in cool storage. A new flower will bloom approximately eight weeks after planting.