Winter can be a hard time for gardeners, but that is the great thing about amaryllis! They are exquisitely beautiful, producing huge blooms, each as big as your hand, and are also easy to grow indoors with just a few steps. You can also learn how to make them rebloom each year so that you can enjoy your amaryllis for longer than just the holiday season.
Different Amaryllis Varieties
We carry a great selection of different amaryllis varieties at Bath Garden Center. The flowers can differ in size and color, from deep red to pure white! You can tell how large the bloom will be by the size of the bulb. The bigger the bulb, the larger the bloom! They also vary in flower type, growing either single blooms, double blooms, or semi-double blooms. Another fun and beautiful bulb that likes to be grown during the winter season are Narcissus Paperwhite bulbs. If you would like to know more about these flowers, read our blog on how to grow paperwhites. To help you get a better idea of some of the different types of amaryllis bulbs out there, here are some that we carry specifically at Bath Garden Center. Our 2022 inventory includes Elvas Amaryllis, Double Dream Amaryllis, Double Dragon Amaryllis, Dancing Queen Amaryllis, Clown Amaryllis, Charisma Amaryllis, Christmas Gift Amaryllis, Black Pearl Amaryllis, Amadeus Candy Amaryllis, Flamenco Queen Amaryllis, Exposure Amaryllis, Exotic Peacock Amaryllis, and Red Lion Amaryllis. Shop all holiday bulbs in our online store today!
Planting Your Amaryllis Bulbs
Planting and growing your amaryllis bulbs is simple and easy. Follow the instructions below for big, beautiful, and blooming flowers this holiday season and for seasons to come!
Pick Out Your Amaryllis Bulbs
The first step to growing amaryllis bulbs at home is picking out your bulbs! Amaryllis are primarily considered to be holiday bulbs, meaning you are most likely to find amaryllis bulbs during the holiday season. Once you decide which varieties are your favorite, be sure to choose firm bulbs with no soft spots, divots, or other damage. Firmness across the entire bulb is a good sign that it is healthy and will grow strong. Also, be careful during transport to not damage the roots of the bulb!
Prepare Your Bulbs for Planting
Before planting your bulb, you can let the roots soak in lukewarm water for a few hours. This is not necessary, as you will saturate the soil after planting, but it can help pull the bulb out of its dormant state.
Pick the Appropriate Pot Size
You will want to plant your amaryllis bulb in a pot that is an inch or two larger in diameter than the bulb. It is also important to make sure the pot has drainage holes, as too much moisture will kill the plant. Plant your bulb so that the top half of the bulb (the nose) is exposed. Bulbs rot easily in moist conditions, so covering the bulb entirely can encourage rot since it would be surrounded by moist soil.
Watering Your Amaryllis
After it's planted, water the bulb thoroughly, but then do not water again until you begin to see growth or see that the soil is completed dried out (again, we don't want to encourage any rot!). As your amaryllis grows, water sparingly, keeping the soil only slightly moist. You can always stick your fingers in the soil around the bulb and if it feels completely dry to the touch, this is how you will know it is time to water! As the roots begin to develop and fill the container, the soil will dry out more quickly and you may need to water more frequently. Your amaryllis may also require more frequent watering once the bud and leaves begin to thrive. Skip fertilizing the plant while it is blooming and keep the soil evenly damp.
When watering your amaryllis bulb (or any plants for that matter), just remember that it is easy to add more water and very difficult to suck the water back out of the soil once it has been added. Most plants can tolerate being underwatered much better than they can tolerate being overwatered, so it is always best to err on the side of underwatering. You can then assess your plants' needs and adjust your watering habits moving forward!
Lighting for Amaryllis
After the initial planting, put your amaryllis in a warm and sunny spot. This will help encourage the bulb out of dormancy. When the bud and leaves begin to thrive, move the plant to a cool room with bright, indirect light. Just be sure to keep your amaryllis away from cold drafts and hot spots, as this could cause shock to the plant. Rotate the plant every day or two to prevent the stem from leaning toward the light. If the plant gets top-heavy, tie the stem to a bamboo stake for some extra added support.
Bulbs such as amaryllis and paperwhites do tend to get tall and top-heavy, and using a stick or bamboo pole for support is not always sightly in appearance. One trick you can try to keep the stem of the flower shorter and stronger so it can support the weight of the flower on its own is to water your amaryllis with an alcohol solution when you first begin to notice the flower stalk beginning to grow. Using clear distilled alcohol is best, such as vodka, gin, or white rum. If you do not keep alcohol in the house, rubbing alcohol works fine too! Simply create your mixture of one part alcohol to seven parts water (1:7), or one part rubbing alcohol to eleven parts water (1:11). Use this mixture to water your plant as the flower stalk begins to grow. This stunts the growth of the flower stalk, encouraging it to grow shorter, resulting in a stronger stalk that is able to support the weight of the bloom.
When to Expect a Bloom
Flowers should appear in 7-10 weeks. To extend the flowering time, remove the long pollen-bearing stamens inside the flower with tweezers and keep the plant in a cool spot. Amaryllis flowers generally last for 2-3 weeks, and often an amaryllis will grow more than one stalk bearing blooms that will open at different times. This will extend the bloom time giving your several more weeks to enjoy the plant in all its beauty!
What To Do When Your Amaryllis is Done Blooming
Once the flowers are finished, cut the flower stalk off with sharp scissors or a knife one inch above the bulb. Do not remove the leaves though! This is very important, as leaving the leaves of the plant attached to the bulb allows the bulb to create and store up as much energy as it can, which it will need if you want it to rebloom again next year!
How To Make an Amaryllis Bulb Rebloom
Amaryllis bulbs rarely bloom more than once per year. It is not impossible if the plant is in ideal conditions and very happy, but this is very uncommon. Also, despite what you have read on the internet, we have found that keeping your bulb in the soil indoors and treating it more like a houseplant year-round is the best way to get your bulb to rebloom in Colorado. Many blogs and articles suggest unearthing the bulb and storing it in a paper bag in a cool spot for several months, but this is unnecessary. Here are the steps you should take if you are going to attempt to get your amaryllis bulb to rebloom in subsequent years.
Treat Your Amaryllis Like You Would Any Other Houseplant
After cutting off the flower stalk, keep the amaryllis in a bright location and keep the soil just barely moist. Treat it like any other houseplant, fertilizing it monthly and watering regularly. The goal is to keep the plant growing so it can store energy for the next year’s flowers.
Next fall or a month or two before you want the amaryllis to rebloom, stop watering the plant and allow the leaves to die off naturally. This starts a resting period or dormant stage that the bulb needs in order to produce flowers again. When the leaves have withered and dried up completely, cut them back.
Start The Growing Process Again
When you are a couple of weeks away from being ready for the bulb to begin to grow, water it thoroughly, saturating the soil, and give it some more fertilizer. This will bring it back out of its dormant stage and the process starts all over again! Place it in a warm and sunny spot just as instructed above when you first planted the bulb. This will wake up the bulb and in a week or two, you should begin to see new growth! Care for your amaryllis using the same guide above, only watering sparingly, keeping it in a sunny spot, and fertilizing as you would any other houseplant!
How to Plant and Grow Amaryllis
Are you having trouble getting your amaryllis bulbs to rebloom? Sometimes they can be tricky, and making even the slightest change can make a big difference! So, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. We are always happy to help and we would love for you to be able to enjoy big and beautiful blooms year after year!