A sprouting amaryllis makes a delightful holiday gift that offers a mid-winter display of huge showy blossoms. After the amaryllis blooms, many people discard the bulb thinking the show is over. However, this is one gift that can keep giving year after year. With proper amaryllis care, the plant will bloom again next year. As the plant grows bigger and stronger each year, the show keeps getting better.
Plant the bulb. About six weeks before you'd like it to bloom, plant the bulb in a 6 to 8 inch pot. Use quality potting soil and leave the top third of the bulb above the soil. Water thoroughly. Once moist, water only once per week until you see green growth.
Place in a warm, well-lit location. The leaves will shoot up quickly along with a sturdy flower stalk. During this active growth period, water whenever the soil dries out.
Enjoy the show. The amaryllis will bear large, trumpet-shaped flowers for a week or two. Water regularly during this time.
Cut the stem after it blooms. Use a sharp knife or scissors and trim the stalk to its base. Allow the leaves to grow. You can treat the amaryllis as a house plant at this point or move it outdoors during the summer.
Encourage dormancy. In late summer the leaves will start to die back. Bring the plant inside before frost and trim off any dead leaves. Store the amaryllis in a basement or another cool location (about 55 degrees) out of bright light for about 6 to 8 weeks. Do not water it during this dormant period.
Begin new growth. Take the amaryllis out of cool storage. Remove the top layer of soil and replace it with fresh potting soil. Water it weekly until new growth appears. Repeat the steps above each year to encourage brilliant displays every winter.