The amaryllis plant (Hippeastrum) adds a bright splash of color to the windowsill in winter, when the blooms of most other plants have long faded. Brilliant red and white shades are the most popular, especially around the holidays, but you can also purchase orange, pink, salmon and even striped varieties. The papery blooms of the amaryllis can reach up to 10 inches across and develop on a stalk that grows from 18 to 36 inches tall.
Place the amaryllis bulb in a container of lukewarm water, and allow it to remain there for three to four hours.
Select a growing container that is 1 or 2 inches wider than the bottom of the amaryllis bulb. The chosen container should be be made of a heavy material, such as clay, to prevent it from tipping over when the bulb begins to grow and become top heavy. It should also have several drainage holes in the bottom.
Fill the growing container halfway with a combination of one part peat moss and one part perlite.
Plant the amaryllis bulb carefully, leaving the top one-third to one-half of the bulb exposed. Add water until the soil is very moist, but not water-logged.
Place the amaryllis in a location that receives at least four hours of sunlight each day and maintains temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.