Even the brownest of thumbs can grow an Amaryllis bulb. Their large, colorful blooms are a wonderful way to bring the garden indoors this winter and they make great gifts!
Amaryllis come in a variety of colors and flower shapes. An elegant red flower is a classic holiday choice. Make sure to pick out the largest bulbs, making sure they are firm as they will produce more flowers.
Using a soilless potting mix, plant the amaryllis bulb in a five- to eight-inch diameter container. There should be about two inches of space between the bulb and the edge of the pot so there is plenty of room for roots. Place the bulb so that the neck (pointed end) and half the bulb are above the surface of the soil. Press the soil firmly around the bulb and water thoroughly.
You can also plant your amaryllis in pea gravel instead of dirt and they will grow just as nice. Again, make sure that there is two inches of space between the bulb and the edge of the pot. It's best if your container has a drainage hole because the bulb will rot if it sits in water. However, there are always exceptions to every rule. I like to use a square low vase with pea gravel which does not have drainage. If your container does not have a drainage hole, just be mindful of how much water is the container. Filling it up so just the very bottom of the bulb touches the water. Once the roots come out, keep and eye on the water level making sure that the roots have water.
Place the container in a warm sunny location. Keep the soil only slightly moist until the bulb starts to grow, then the plants will need more frequent watering.
After the flower bud appears, use a balanced fertilizer every two weeks throughout the blooming period. Amaryllis planted now will flower in about six to eight weeks. When the flowers have withered, cut the stalk off about two inches above the bulb and continue watering and feeding.
Amaryllis bulbs can go out into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Treat it as a potted plant or sink it, pot and all, into a garden bed in a partly sunny location. It will not re-flower in the summer as it builds up nutrients in the bulb. Gradually decrease watering in late summer, allowing the soil to completely dry out and the foliage to die back.
When you pull your amaryllis from the garden, keep them in a dormant state by leaving the bulb in the pot and store them in a cool, dark place for at least eight weeks. After the rest period, start growth by watering. Repotting is required every three to four years or when the bulb has become too large for pot or if offshoots have developed.
Posted on 11/10/2016 at 9:40:00 AM