Several weeks before Christmas, many people plant amaryllis bulbs indoors so they can enjoy the tall, showy flowers during the holidays. Unlike paperwhites and other narcissus bulbs, amaryllis will bloom year after year if you take a few simple measures to nurture and protect them till the next season.
After the amaryllis has stopped putting out new blossoms, and the stalks have died back, keep watering it regularly, just enough to keep the soil slightly damp at all times. Test for moisture by sticking your fingers into the dirt around the bulb. If it’s not at least slightly moist, water the bulb again.
Don’t let your amaryllis dry completely out, but also don’t water it so much that the soil is soggy and excess water stands in the saucer for more than half a day. Overwatering will cause the bulb’s roots to rot.
Using house plant fertilizer, applied according to the directions on the packaging, feed your plant.
In late August or early September, change the watering schedule so the plant gets about half as much water as you’d been giving it. The leaves will wither and die back completely.
Take the bulb, still in its pot, to a dark, cool spot, like a gardening shed or a garage, and set it in a safe spot. Leave it there for two months.
Five to 8 weeks before you’d like to the amaryllis to flower again, take the pot back inside.
Take the bulb out of the pot, dump out the soil, and put new potting soil into the pot. Put the bulb back into the pot, just deep enough that you can cover it up with about an inch of soil.
Set the pot in a place where it will get gentle, filtered light for most of the day.
Water the bulb lightly as directed above, and keep watering it regularly till it begins to put out new leaves.
Resume the regular watering schedule and put the bulb in a bright spot where it will get six hours of direct sunlight every day. Be sure to keep checking the moisture of the soil after you’ve moved it into its new, warmer spot.