The amaryllis is a flowering bulb that is also known as the Belladonna lily. The flowers prefer to grow in sandy soils with partial shade but can even be grown in a container filled with water and pebbles. This plant typically flowers in the late fall or early winter and produces large blooms that can grow in groups of four to six. The amaryllis is a perennial plant that can flower for as many as 75 years if it is properly cared for.
Choose a pot that that is about six to seven inches in diameter to plant your amaryllis bulbs. These plants like being confined in their containers so it should only be a few inches bigger than the bulb.
Use a potting mix that is specifically for flowering bulbs. The mix with be a loamy soil. You can mix your own potting mix by mixing one part loamy soil and one part composted manure.
Mix warm water with the soil before you place the bulb into the container. Use warm water to make the soil moist but not soggy.
Fill the container approximately half full of potting mix and then place the bulb on top. Cover with potting mix until approximately half of the bulb is above the soil. Press down on the soil to slightly pack it next to the plant. This will help make the rowing flowers more stable.
Place your bulbs in a bright, sunny located in your home. The temperature should not drop below 60 degrees and you should avoid drafty places. The more sunlight and warmth the bulbs get, the faster they will begin to grow. A southern window is the best place to put your amaryllis.
Water your plant at least once a week to keep the soil slightly moist. Warm water helps the plant to grow so use warm water instead of cold. Once the flowers have begun to bloom you will want to increase the water to twice a week to prolong the life of the blooms.
Fertilize your amaryllis every six weeks with a water soluble, liquid fertilizer. Follow the directions on the fertilizer and use half the strength that is recommended.
Place the plant in a warm, damp, dark place after the last bloom has died. Do not water or fertilize the plant for two to three months. This will allow the bulb to rebuild and go dormant. Bring the bulb back out and water it with warm water to encourage growth and blooms again.