The amaryllis is a bulbous flowering plant, bearing large lily-like blooms on tall, lanky stems. Easy to grow and simple to care for, this tropical flower is a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardeners. Adapted to pots in cooler locations of flower beds in warmer climates, with proper care the amaryllis can be brought to bloom year after year.
Prepare the bulbs for planting by placing roots in a bucket or bowl filled with warm water. Allow the roots to soak for 3-4 hours, being careful not to get the bulb wet. Then remove them from the water and place them on a towel, leaving them to air dry.
Select a planting site that gets full sun for at least 6 hours a day, as the bulbs require warmth to grow and bloom. Dig up the first 6 inches of dirt at the planting site, breaking up any large clods and removing undesirable plant material, such as grass, from the fill dirt.
Mix compost in with the dirt at the planting site until the soil in the flower bed is dark and crumbly. Then take the prepared bulbs and insert each one into the soil, burying it up to the neck. Press lightly on the soil near the top of the plant, securing the bulb's position. Leave at least 12 inches between bulbs. Alternatively, plant each bulb in an individual pot at least 6 inches in diameter.
Water your new bulbs in moderation until you see at least 2 inches worth of new growth sprout from the neck. At this point, the plant will begin a growth spurt and will require weekly watering and biweekly feed with an all-purpose plant food or fertilizer.
Wait 5-8 weeks after the plant begins to grow for the bulb to bloom. Once the bloom begins to fade, cut the plant down until approximately 1 inch extends from the top of the bulb. Continue watering the bulbs regularly, encouraging its growth and development.
Remove the bulbs from the soil when the foliage begins to turn yellow at the end of the summer. Cut the plant growth back, leaving approximately 2 inches of stem extending from the bulb. Then carefully dig the bulbs back up.
Brush the excess dirt away and place the bulbs in the refrigerator for at least 8 weeks. This cool dormancy period is required if you'd like your bulbs to bloom again.