Amaryllises are kept both indoors and outdoors, and plants kept indoors need special storage for the winter. Outdoor amaryllis bulbs also need special winter storage. They cannot survive extremely cold temperatures, so they need to be dug up and stored in a cool, dark and dry area. Outdoor amaryllises should be pulled up and stored starting in the fall. Wait until after the foliage has wilted and changed color, which usually occurs in September or October.
Cut off the foliage so it is 1 inch above the soil. The plant does not need the yellow or brown leaves any longer and it gives you a better look at where you are digging.
Use a trowel or garden fork to dig up you amaryllis. Bulbs are typically planted 3 to 4 inches below the soil, so a trowel may suffice. You can also use a shovel, but you have to take more care so as not to damage your bulbs in the process.
Dig a circle around each plant 2 inches away. Dig straight down 6 inches for the first plant to gauge how deep the bulbs are, which may be slightly deeper than you first planted.
Pull down on the handle after you completed the circle. Do this in several places along the perimeter of the plant until the bulb can be gently lifted out of the soil. Shake off any dirt.
Lay the amaryllis bulbs out on newspaper for one to three days in a shady, cool and dry location to dry. Next, store the bulbs with some moist peat moss in an open container, paper bag or mesh bag. Place them in a cool and dark location, such as a garage, attic or crawl space. Check on the bulbs every couple of weeks and throw out any rotting bulbs. Add a bit of water if the peat moss has become dry. Plant the bulbs again in the spring.
Things You Will Need
- Trowel, garden fork or shovel