Amaryllis originated in South American and can give any room or landscape a tropical feel. These are large bulbs and easy to work with, which makes them a very popular plant. Amaryllis can be used for cut flowers in vases and flower arrangements. They are tall stemmed with large blooming flowers in shades of reds, pinks, orange and white. These flowers can be grown in the ground in gardening zones 9 and 10 or indoors anywhere and as the flowers die out the bulbs can be stored and planted again for more beautiful blooms.
Plan your planting at least 8 weeks before you want your Amaryllis to bloom. Soak the roots of the bulb in lukewarm water for 2 to 3 hours before planting to soften them up. Do not soak any longer or the roots may start to rot.
Mix one part potting soil with one part compost and fill your flower pot halfway. Carefully place the bulb with the roots down and the neck of the bulb straight up.
Fill in with soil cover all but the top third of the bulb. This should be the very top of the bulb and the neck. Covering the neck of the bulb will cause it to rot. Press the soil down around the bulb firmly.
Water until the soil is moist but not soggy and place the plant in a location where it will get full sun. The temperature should always be above 60 degrees but warmer is better. Place the pot on top of the refrigerator at night to keep it warm.
Water again only if the top inch of soil drys out before the bulb starts to sprout. Too much water at this point will cause the bulb and roots to rot. Growth should start beteen 2 to 8 weeks.