An amaryllis is a type of flowering bulb that produces a tall stem with several trumpet-shaped flowers at the top. The plant is native to parts of South America and blooms late in the year through June. Amaryllis bulbs are generally sold during the winter holiday season as a flowering plant, then discarded. Proper care and fertilizing will stimulate additional blooming for several years.
Plant the amaryllis bulb in a container with bottom drainage holes and fill it with a high-nutrient potting compost designed for indoor bulbs. The high nutrient value provides natural fertilizer to the bulb as it grows.
Amaryllis bulbs require fertilizer treatments every two weeks during shoot growth and flower production. Apply a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer when you water to stimulate quick absorption of the fertilizer. Fertilizer is important during the stem and blossom growth period because the bulb requires a large amount of nutrients to produce a healthy plant.
Amaryllis bulbs require regular water once the stem shoots begins to protrude out of the top of the bulb. Until the shoot appears, water the bulb lightly once a week; too much water can encourage rot. Increase water to keep the soil evenly moist as the stem and leaves grow taller, as the bulb pulls moisture quickly from the soil. You may need to water the bulb daily once the bloom appears.
Amaryllis bulbs will produce additional blooms after they undergo a cool rest period. After a six-week rest period, repot the amaryllis bulb in a container with bottom drainage holes and filled with a high-nutrient potting mixture. Follow the same care instructions as you did during the first bloom period. The bulb may take up to six weeks to bloom again and requires fertilizer once the shoot appears.
Amaryllis bulbs produce a long shoot with a large flower blossom on top. Place a stake in the container and tie the stem to it if the flower becomes top heavy, which can cause the stem to bend or break. Place the amaryllis bulb in a refrigerator during the cool rest period. Make sure there are no apples in the refrigerator during this period because they cause amaryllis bulbs to become sterile and not produce additional shoots.