How to Take Care of Amaryllis Bulbs


Amaryllis are dramatic indeed, with their big, trumpet-shaped blossoms and tall, slender stems. The flowers may be white, red, peach or pink, and some are even striped. You can buy amaryllis bulbs to plant outside, where they'll bloom in the summer, or inside, where they'll bloom 6 to 8 weeks after you plant them. Many people take the latter course, timing the planting of their bulbs so they will have amaryllis flowering around Christmas.

Caring for Outdoor Amaryllis Bulbs

Step 1

Plant the bulbs as soon as you get them home from the nursery or receive them from your mail-order vendor. If you don't plant them promptly, they may sprout too soon or even mold or dry out completely.

Step 2

Cut the foliage off 1 inch above the bulb, after the amaryllis bulbs have stopped blooming and the foliage has turned yellow,

Step 3

Fertilize bulbs one last time before winter after trimming the bulbs.

Caring for Indoor Amaryllis Bulbs

Step 1

Plant each bulb as soon as you get it home in its own 6 - to 8 -inch diameter pot. Amaryllis plants and flowers are top-heavy, so use a pot that's heavy to help keep the plant from falling over.

Step 2

Pull withered flowers off the plant after they've bloomed.

Step 3

Continue to water the bulb regularly when the amaryllis quits blooming altogether and the stalks wither. Feed it with house plant fertilizer, applied according to the package instructions.

Step 4

Stop fertilizing in August and cut the watering by half. The foliage will die back and turn yellow.

Step 5

Put the pot with the bulb in a cool dark place, like a garage or gardening shed, for at least two months.

Step 6

Move the bulb back into the house 5 to 8 weeks before you want it to bloom again. Replace the old potting soil with fresh soil, put the bulb back into the pot and water the bulb lightly.

Step 7

Continue to water it lightly until it puts out leaves. Then resume your regular watering and fertilizing schedule and move the pot to a bright spot.

Things You'll Need

  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Bulb fertilizer
  • Wooden or metal flower stakes, at least 1/2 inch in diameter and 12 inches tall
  • Gardener's tape
  • Potting soil
  • Heavy flower pots, 6 to 8 inches in diameter
  • 1 drainage saucer for each flower pot
  • Houseplant fertilizer


  • Hippeastrum (Amaryllis); The Garden Club of Houston
  • The Basics: Amaryllis; Dutch Gardens
Keywords: forcing bulbs, forcing amaryllis, amaryllis bulbs

About this Author

Cheyenne Cartwright has worked in publishing for more than 25 years. She has served as an editor for several large nonprofit institutions, and her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including "Professional Bull Rider Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oklahoma Christian University and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Tulsa.