The amaryllis is a flowering bulb that is native to South America. The bulb produces a tall shoot with red, pink, salmon, orange, white or striped blooms. Amaryllis bloom in late December through June and can be trained to bloom repeatedly by forcing the bulb through a dormant period. The amaryllis is commonly induced to bloom during the winter holiday season.
Growing Amaryllis Bulbs
Place amaryllis bulbs in lukewarm water for two hours before planting to begin the growing process.
Plant the bulb in a pot using a high nutrient value potting compost which can be purchased at a garden supply store. Fill the pot up to the neck of the bulb. Press the compost firmly to secure the bulb taking caution to not damage the roots.
Set the potted bulb in a location that provides direct sunlight and a temperature of 68 to 70 degrees F. The bulb requires three to four hours of direct sunlight per day.
Water the bulb lightly to prevent bulb rot until the stem begins to appear through the top of the bulb. Gradually increase the water application once the leaves and bud emerge.
Fertilize the growing bulb every two weeks with a standard houseplant fertilizer for flowering plants.
Plant amaryllis bulbs two weeks apart if continuous blooming is desired. The bulbs will flower approximately seven to 10 weeks after planting.
Induce a second flowering by cutting the faded flower at the top of the bulb when the stem begins to sag. Continue to water the bulb through the summer to keep the leaf growth green. Cut the leaves back to approximately 2 inches when they begin to turn yellow in the fall.
Remove the bulb from the pot and clean off any soil. Place the bulb in a cool location that is 40 to 50 degrees F for six weeks. The crisper box in a refrigerator is an ideal location.
Remove the bulb from the refrigerator after six weeks or when you are ready to plant it. Plant the bulb eight weeks out from when you want it to bloom.