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How to Care for an Amaryllis After It Has Bloomed

red amaryllis image by Dagmara Czechowska from Fotolia.com

Amaryllis bulbs are often available at garden centers in fall because they are often forced into bloom for the Christmas holidays. Caring for your amaryllis after it blooms encourages further blooming later in the year. As a tender bulb, amaryllis is best grown in pots as the slightest frost can kill it. But there is no need to just enjoy amaryllis during the holidays. Blooming can be encouraged at other times or the pots can be set outdoors so you can enjoy them in your garden.

Cut off the flower stem once the flower has withered and died. Leave 2 inches of stem in place above the bulb. Leave all other foliage in place.

Water the amaryllis when the soil surface begins to feel dry, usually two times a week depending on the dryness of your home. Water until the excess moisture begins to drain from the bottom of the pot and into the drip tray. Empty the drip tray once draining is complete.

Fertilize the amaryllis every 10 days with a balanced soluble fertilizer. Follow package instructions for exact fertilizer amounts.

Set the amaryllis in a window that receives at least six hours of sunlight. Or place the pot outside in a full-sun area once frost danger has passed. The amaryllis may bloom a second time.

Cut off all the foliage in late summer when the leaves yellow and die back. Store the amaryllis in a 40- to 45-degree F area until you are ready to force the bulb again.

Tip

Amaryllis bulbs should be forced about eight weeks prior to the desired winter blooming period.

Amaryllis prefers being slightly root-bound, so the pot should never be much larger than the bulb.

Warning

Amaryllis requires a one- to two-month dormant period in order to remain healthy. Avoid forcing the bulb too soon.

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