How to Care for an Amaryllis Flower

Overview

Amaryllis bulbs produce trumpet-shaped blooms atop 18- to 36-inch stems. Blooms range in size, but with proper care, they are often 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Traditionally sold in stores during the winter holidays, amaryllis plants are often grown in pots to provide color and fragrance during the cold winter months. If kept alive after blooming, and provided proper care during the year, amaryllis can be forced into bloom each winter.

Step 1

Examine bulbs for any signs of damage or disease. Look for large firm bulbs that feel firm to the touch. Avoid bulbs that are dry or shriveled.

Step 2

Select a plant pot 1 to 2 inches wider than bulb, with a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Check for drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Place small pebbles over the holes to assist in good drainage.

Step 3

Pour a 1- to 2-inch layer of potting mixture in the bottom of the pot. Use peat moss, coconut fiber or other lightweight soil mixture. Moisten the potting medium.

Step 4

Center bulb in the middle of pot with the pointed ended facing upward. Position so the top of the bulb rests slightly above the rim of the plant pot. Fill in around the bulb with soil and firm down with your hands.

Step 5

Water thoroughly until water runs freely through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Allow soil to dry slightly before watering again. Water once or twice a week to moisten soil, but avoid soggy soil.

Step 6

Move the plant pot to sunny window when new growth appears. Fertilize every two to four weeks with water-soluble fertilizer. Turn the pot daily to encourage the stem to grow straight.

Step 7

Move out of direct sunlight, when blooms open six to eight weeks. Cut flower stems back to the base of the plant once blooms fade. Allow foliage to grow.

Step 8

Move outside in a sunny or partially sunny location for the summer once the danger of frost has passed in your area. Place in a sheltered location for several days to acclimate the amaryllis plant to outside conditions. Bring the plant inside for the night, if temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 9

Move amaryllis inside in fall when temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Keep the plant in a cool dark room with temperatures between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to 10 weeks.

Step 10

Move to a sunny area to force winter blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Plant pot
  • Lightweight potting medium (peat moss, coconut fiber)
  • Pebbles
  • Water-soluble houseplant fertilizer

References

  • Iowa State University Extension: Growing Amaryllis
  • UC Davis Extension: Grow Amaryllis to brighten your winter window

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida Extension: Amaryllis
Keywords: grow amaryllis, force amaryllis, plant amaryllis

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.