Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Plant an Amaryllis Outside

Amaryllis image by Keith Pinto from

Amaryllis produces large red, pink or white blooms amongst green foliage. Often forced indoors near the winter holidays, amaryllis can also be grown outdoors. A tender perennial bulb, amaryllis does not tolerate any frost. In areas that do not experience winter freezing, such as USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11, amaryllis can be left in the garden year-round. In areas with winter freezing, the bulbs must be dug up and kept in a dark place indoors until spring replanting.

Prepare a garden bed for planting in an area that receives light shade and is well-drained. Lay 2 to 3 inches of compost over the bed then apply 2 lbs. of 6-6-6 fertilizer per each 100 square feet of bed. Till these amendments into the top 6 inches of the soil.

Plant the bulbs 15 inches apart in all directions. Sow them so that the pointed end is facing up and only the bottom 2/3 of the bulb is beneath the soil.

Water the bed thoroughly after planting so that it feels moist to a 6-inch depth if you stick your finger in the soil. Continue to water once weekly when the plant is actively growing, always moistening the soil to the 6-inch depth.

Lay a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, over the bed after planting. Mulch prevents weed growth and also helps retain soil moisture. Pull any weeds that do penetrate the mulch layer immediately.

Cut off the flower stalks at the base with shears when the bloom wilts but before the flower begins producing seeds. Leave the foliage in place until it dries and dies back on its own, then cut it off at ground level.


Plant the bulbs outdoors in fall or early winter in zones 9 through 11. In colder areas where the bulbs must be dug up each fall, plant them in the garden in spring once all frost danger has passed.

Amaryllis flowers may be top heavy and cause the stems to bend. If this is an issue with your plants, tie them loosely to a small stake for support.


Over-fertilizing amaryllis can cause them to stop blooming, though they may still produce lush foliage. Amaryllis require very little if any fertilizer once planted.

Garden Guides