How to Plant your Amaryllis Bulbs

13 Nov How to Plant your Amaryllis Bulbs

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NOW is the time to pot up your Amaryllis bulbs.  At Natureworks, we carry lots of wonderful varieties including exotic deep, dark maroon ‘Queen of the Night’, many doubles, and striking bicolors.

I use clay pots for Amaryllis bulbs to help balance the weight of the tall stems and heavy flower clusters. Choose a pot that is only a few inches bigger in diameter than the bulb itself. Add Organic Mechanics potting soil, placing the bulb in the soil with 1/2 to 1/3 of the bulb exposed above the soil. Water thoroughly until it drains out the bottom.

The secret to getting Amaryllis off on the right track is warmthwhen they are first planted. We always place them on top of the shop refrigerator where the warmth from the motor keeps the soil warm. Some people put them on a metal tray filled with pebbles on top of old fashioned radiators. If they are cold, they take forever to sprout. They do not need sunlight in this early rooting stage. NEVER water them until the soil is just about dry. The dormant roots take a while to start growing. If you keep the soil soggy wet, you can rot the tiny starter roots.

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You will know when the roots are really taking off (usually about 3 weeks after planting the bulb) as the soil will dry out a lot quicker and you will start to see a shoot appearing from the neck of the bulb. At that point, move your Amaryllis to a sunny window and turn it every day to keep the stem from bending too far in one direction.

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Once the first stalk has completely flowered, cut it down. You will probably already see a second stalk emerging. After all of the flowering has finished (this will be much later in the winter), the leaves will start to grow. Encourage them to be lush and full; they feed the bulb for next year. I keep my Amaryllis plants outside in the shade all summer long. Right now they are resting in the basement for 6 weeks before I bring them up and start forcing them again.