How to Cultivate Amaryllis Bulbs


An amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a flowering plant native to the South American tropics. The stems of the amaryllis grow 2-3 feet in height, and produce large, colorful, bell-shaped blooms that make them popular among home gardeners. Modern cultivars come from Holland, North America and South Africa, but the largest flowers are produced on the Dutch hybrids. Bloom colors range from shades of pink to variegated red and solid white. Amaryllis bulbs are inexpensive to buy and, with a little bit of preparation and care, easy to cultivate.

Step 1

Purchase amaryllis bulbs from a local nursery or garden center. Amaryllis bulbs are usually abundant in these stores, particularly several weeks before holidays like Christmas or Easter when the amaryllis are widely used as decorative blooming plants.

Step 2

Place bulbs in garden pots that contain holes for drainage.

Step 3

Fill the pots containing the amaryllis bulbs with a garden potting mix or, when available, a potting mix made especially for bulbs. Leave 1/2 to 2/3 of the bulbs exposed to promote early flowering.

Step 4

Water the bulbs thoroughly.

Step 5

Move the amaryllis bulbs to a warm, sunny location where the temperatures reach about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants need several hours of direct sunlight to bloom properly.

Step 6

Move amaryllis to a cooler, more shaded location once the flowers begin to bloom. The cooler temperatures help extend the life of the colorful blooms.

Tips and Warnings

  • Too much nitrogen fertilizer will produce a greater number of leaves on the amaryllis, and could prevent the plant from blooming.

Things You'll Need

  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Plant potting mix or bulb potting mix
  • Garden pots with drainage holes


  • Brown, Sydney Park and Robert J. Black. Amaryllis. University of Florida IFAS Extension, 2009 (Accessed Nov. 10, 2009).
  • How to Make Your Amaryllis Bloom Again. The United States Arboretum, Mar. 25, 2008 (Accessed Nov. 10, 2009).

Who Can Help

  • Amaryllis
  • Home Forcing of Potted Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)
Keywords: cultivate amaryllis, amaryllis bulbs, amaryllis

About this Author

Barbara Biehler is a freelance writer who has written articles for and eHow, as well as online specialty courses for She has a B.A. in English from the University of Central Florida, and over 15 years experience in business development, sales, and marketing. An avid gardener, cook, and voracious reader, Barbara resides with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.