Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Save an Amaryllis Bulb

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017

Amaryllis is typically an indoor potted plant that blooms large trumpet-like flowers. In one season, an amaryllis will grow an 18- to 36-inch stalk and bloom two to six flowers. Since amaryllis is a bulbous plant--it has a underground root structure called a bulb--it can grow again the next year. However, in order for it to grow again, you must save your bulb and store it in a cool location to induce its required dormancy.

Take your amaryllis plant in late September and store it in an area of your home that is cool and semi-dark. A back room, closet with the door cracked or on a closed-in porch behind something to block off the light are perfect locations. Do not water your plant. This is forcing the bulb to begin its dormant stage.

Prune off the leaves when they turn brown. When the foliage dies, this is a sure sign your bulb is ready to go dormant.

Pull out the bulb, which is just below the soil. Shake off the excess soil and wash the bulb with water. Allow the bulb to dry and then store in a mesh or paper bag. An open box will also work well. You do not need soil to store your amaryllis bulb.

Store your amaryllis bulb in a cool and dark location, such as a garage, attic or crawl space. The ideal temperatures to store an amaryllis bulb is between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit; however, if you live in a warm environment and don’t have anywhere cool to store it, then go ahead and put it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Do not store near apples or you will inadvertently sterilize the bulb and it will not bloom.

Plant your amaryllis bulb in eight to 10 weeks. You can use the same container, but replace the soil with fresh, all-purpose potting soil. Be sure the neck of the bulb is above the soil line. Water so the soil is evenly moist and set the container in a sunny location. Keep the soil moist and your amaryllis should grow and bloom again.


Things You Will Need

  • Clippers
  • Potting soil

About the Author


Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.