Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How To Grow and Rebloom Amaryllis

     Who doesn't love Amaryllis? Especially at Christmastime!? Maybe you've received one as a gift or bought one in a box from your grocery store and then wondered what do I do with it now? I've been growing Amaryllis for years, they are very easy to grow and rebloom if you understand their simple needs.

     Like a lot of us you probably bought one in a box, hopefully when they go on sale!, they usually come with a pot and soil and directions, follow accordingly. I don't always use the pot and soil they come with however as I think they prefer a clay pot, and so do I!!!! You can always use a better potting soil if you want because they usually just come with some peat moss and I think these bulbs would like something a little more nutritious and some improved drainage. I always add some rocks for drainage and a little pearlite to the soil wouldn't hurt either, afterall these guys are native to South Africa!
     After you have selected your Amaryllis at the store, please open the box because you can usually see if they have signs of life and hopefully two buds sprouting! Followed the directions, plant with a little of the top of the bulb showing, ensured good drainage and soil. Now wait, and water regularly for the next 5 to 6 weeks. So, if you want Amaryllis for Christmas you should probably buy one and plant it about the last week or so of November. Myself, I like to buy at deep discount closer to Christmas! They will bloom for about a week and many times a second flower stalk emerges so you can have flowers for at least a couple of weeks in the darkest winter days.
After the flowers have faded, you may want to clip them off individually as they fade, snip off the whole spent flower cluster just under where they split off from the main stalk. Leave the stalk to wither away and remove easily when it's completely dried out. Amaryllis won't need as much water as when flowering, but keep watering about once a week and fertilize with a 20-20-20 solution once a month through the summer. At this point I let them grow outside until the first frost.

     Growing Amaryllis Outdoors: Once we've reached the point where the flowers have long gone and warm weather has returned outdoors, you should have a bulb with a few strappy leaves coming out of the top. Place in a warm and sunny spot, like near a wall and water freely, they will probably get rainfall too but also remember to fertilize regularly, once or twice a month, they will likely grow more leaves until the nights get cold again. In this part of the world I usually bring them in if there is danger of hard frost about the end of September. Once summer has finished Amaryllis must rest! This part is very important, put the plants in a sunny window and cease watering until the leaves turn brown and wither away, this can take until November. When the leaves are dried and easy to pull away from the bulb put them in a cool dark place for the winter. I know, you will probably not have them for Christmas with this method as the resting period is not long enough but it does work for reblooming and you will probably have them for Easter! I usually bring the bulbs that have overwintered  in their pots with soil out of the dark around March, soak the potted bulbs in the sink for several hours and resume watering regularly until the flowers appear once again in a few weeks. Sorry, I haven't figured out how to reschedule the bloom time for winter, I usually just buy more near Christmas, but this method seems to work best in our climate.
While Amaryllis are lovely at Christmas they are also rewarding through the spring indoors! All one has to do is understand their simple needs and they will provide years of flowering!

No comments:

Post a Comment