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Planting Amaryllis Bulbs for Christmas

The amaryllis is easy to grow, fun to watch sprout (don't miss the time lapse video below) and turns into a wonderful holiday gift, making it the perfect project to do with children. Follow these instructions below to start growing today!

Simply place the bulb in good potting soil, water regularly and provide bright, indirect light. Keep support stake handy for keeping the blooms upright, but little else is required. Most varieties will begin blooming 6 - 8 weeks after planting; some can take as long as 10 weeks. Use a heavy pots to avoid tipping under the weight of the blooms. Plant the bulb, pointed-end-up, in potting soil. Pack the soil gently around the bulb so approximately 1/3 of the bulb remains above the soil line. Place the pot in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Water sparingly until you see about 2" of new growth. From then on, water regularly. As the plant grows, turn the pot to encourage the flower stalks to grow straight. Flower buds will appear at the top of each stalk, followed by a dramatic floral display. To prolong the blooms, keep the pot out of direct sunlight.

When Will It bloom?

It depends. In general, it takes 6 - 8 weeks for amaryllis to bloom, but check the label on the variety you have—some bloom faster, and some slower. Determine when you’d like to have flowers – Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day or even Easter.

Amaryllis Bloom Schedule
Planting Date Bloom Timeframe
15-Nov 19-Dec
1-Dec 7-Jan
15-Dec 19-Jan
1-Jan 9-Feb
15-Jan 19-Feb
1-Feb 8-Mar

 

For Bloom Next Year

Amaryllis can be encouraged to blossom again the following year. It takes a little planning and extra care, but is quite simple and very rewarding. After the flowers have faded, cut the flower stalk to within 1" of the top of the bulb. Continue to water and feed the plant regularly with Natural Alternative® 5-5-5 All-Purpose Plant Food. Amaryllis will grow a number of leaves during the spring and summer. This will help the plant produce energy for the following year's bloom. In mid-August, begin withholding water and let the foliage die back naturally as the pot dries out completely.

Store the dormant bulb in a cool, dark and dry place for a minimum of eight weeks; longer is fine. Then, about 6 -8 weeks before you want the amaryllis to flower again, repot the bulb in fresh potting soil and place it in bright, indirect light. Resume watering—sparingly at first. Once you see new growth, increase watering and look forward to the upcoming flower show. By following these basic care guidelines, you will be able to encourage your amaryllis to flower year after year.

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