Amaryllis Plant Care and Feeding


Amaryllis plants (Hippeastrum species) belong to the Amaryllidaceae family of flowers, which are native to South Africa, according to the University of Florida. These showy flowers come in a wide array of colors and sizes, depending on the species and cultivar. Amaryllis plants are more commonly called "amaryllis" and are popularly sold as gifts. These summer-blooming bulbs are often grown indoors in containers due to their tropical nature and specific growing requirements.


Amaryllis can be grown year-round indoors, where they thrive in normal indoor temperatures. They also make excellent home garden flowers, according to Clemson University, and can be grown successfully outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones 7b through 11.


Amaryllis plants thrive outdoors in full sunlight in the cooler growing zones and in partial shade in the warmest growing zones (USDA zone 11). Indoors, they should be placed near a sunny window. One that faces south is best, according to Clemson University. A minimum of four hours of sunlight is necessary for the plant to grow well, although more than that is even better.

Soil and Water

Amaryllis must have well-draining soils, according to the University of Florida. Container plants should have a drainage hole in the bottom so that the pot can drain well. If the soil around your outdoor flowers tends to collect standing water, the bulbs may rot. Dig up your bulbs and plant them in a better-draining area, such as a raised garden bed. This is best done in the fall. Place each bulb about a foot from the other, and deep enough so that the "neck" of the bulb is protruding above the surface. These flowers enjoy loamy soil rich in organic content, whether indoors or out. Allow the top inch or so of soil to dry before watering the plant.


Never fertilize an amaryllis flower until it develops leaves. Once the leaves appear, feed it every other week with a fertilizer formulated for flowering tropical plants. Follow the directions for application according to the instructions on the package for the size of your plant.


There are many common insect pests that can bother this plant, according to Clemson University. These include spider mites and thrips. Simply rinse them off the flower with a strong stream of water. Amaryllis can also suffer from soil-born diseases such as mosaic virus. There is no way to treat the disease, but you can avoid it by planting the bulb in sterile soil.

Keywords: amaryllis plant care, feeding amaryllis plants, growing Hippeastrum flowers

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.