Commonly purchased during the holidays, Red lion amaryllis is well known for its festive red blooms. The red lion is a vibrant variant of the amaryllis and is popular during the winter season. One bulb can produce up to six flowers that will often remain in bloom for the entire winter.
Red lion bulbs are typically between 12 and 13 inches in circumference. A healthy bulb will produce two to three stems, with about four to six flowers on each stem after around six to eight weeks after being planted.
Bulbs for red lion amaryllis need to be planted in pots with good drainage. Place the bulbs about 6 inches deep and spaced at least 8 inches away from one another. The biggest issue indoor gardeners have with new bulbs is overwatering. New plants need extra water, but should not be watered more than once every three to four days. As they mature, red lions typically only need to be watered once a week from the bottom of the pot.
After six to eight weeks of being planted, bulbs will begin to bloom and will reach a height of 20 inches. Due to tropic origins, red lions need to be kept at room temperature to prevent wilting and premature death. Gardeners often attach flower stems to support sticks to help keep the plant from being weighed down.
Red lion bulbs should only be planted outdoors in warm climates due to their susceptibility to cold damage. Flowers need a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit to enjoy full bloom for the entire winter. If temperatures reach 55 F, it is common for some flowers to experience a forced dormancy, an important step in preparing bulbs for flowerings again the following year. This should take place before the year's first frost, when leaves begin to yellow and wilt.
A main issue gardeners experience is bend or twisted flower growth. Red lion amaryllis tend to grow toward sunlight, twisting its stem as the sun moves across the sky. Gardeners can rotate the plant's container to force the plant into vertical growth.