How to Plant Amaryllis Seeds


Amaryllis, also known as belladonna lily or naked lady, is a fall- and winter-flowering perennial. Amaryllis are temperamental, and though their bulbs can survive for many years, they do not tolerate cold or excess wet. Amaryllis can be grown from seed, however, home gardeners should understand that it may take up to eight years for the resulting plants to flower. Planting amaryllis from seed is truly a long-term project whose benefits can not be reaped until years later. Amaryllis can be successfully planted in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 10.

Step 1

Plant amaryllis seeds outdoors after the last frost for your area or indoors in late winter. According to Eileen Powell's "The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers from Seed to Bloom," it may take up to 120 days for the seeds to germinate (sprout).

Step 2

Cultivate the seeds outdoors by preparing and amending a flower bed with compost. Amaryllis likes well-drained soil, so avoid any areas of your yard that collect water. They require full sun, so realize they will not thrive in shaded areas. Mix the tiny seeds with sand to help disperse them, and barely cover them with dirt. You can thin the seedlings in the early summer if they are too dense.

Step 3

Start amaryllis seeds indoors in late winter. Each seedling should be planted just beneath the soil surface of an individual pot in a room with full, natural sunlight or fluorescent plant lights. The soil should be kept moist but well-drained. According to Powell, the seeds need to be kept between 65 and 75 degrees F during their germination. Keep the seedlings away from children and pets because the amaryllis plant is toxic when ingested. Transplant the seedlings in late spring or early summer and place them approximately 1 foot apart.

Tips and Warnings

  • If winter temperatures in your area are expected to drop below 20 degrees F, the tiny bulbs may not survive their first winter. Dig them up after their blooms wane and store them dry over winter in a warm room. After the last frost for your area, replant them 10 inches deep to protect them from potential cold during the fickle spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Amaryllis seeds
  • Potting soil (optional)
  • Plant pots (optional)
  • Fluorescent lights (optional)
  • Compost


  • "The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers from Seed to Bloom"; Eileen Powell; 2004
  • "The Southern Living Garden Book"; Edited by Steve Bender; 2004

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association: USDA Hardiness Zone Finder
Keywords: plant amaryllis seeds, cultivate belladonna lily, germinate amaryllis

About this Author

Margaret Bryant is a long-time resident of North Carolina. She has recently written extensively for GolfLink and eHow. She has been writing for publication since 1999. Bryant holds a Bachelor of Arts in English language/literature.

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