Amaryllis bulb saving tips from the BICS Student Garden Club

Amaryllis bulb saving tips from the BICS Student Garden Club

Amaryllis lanterns were a very popular gift this year during the fall and winter. Now that the flowers have faded, many people are wondering what to do with the bulbs.

The Bowen Island Community School Garden Club found a few bulbs in the compost and wondered if the bulbs should really be composted? Or can the bulbs be reused? Under the thick wax, the students found that the large lamps were placed in a stretchy plastic sleeve that was probably a balloon, and they also had a metal wire base that was pushed down so the lamps could be placed on a tabletop.

Some lanterns also had paint or glitter. The instruction label on a waxed amaryllis bulb indicates that the bulbs should be composted after flowering.

BICS Garden Club students studied neglected bulbs and learned that if an amaryllis bulb is given what it needs (light, some soil, water and nutrients), it will follow the life cycle of most bulbs, providing beautiful greenery* and then it will grow back, and it will thrive. The average lifespan of a bulb is about 25 years, although some families report that they have been growing the same bulbs for 50 years or more!

It's easy to care for, so: Don't compost it! If you don't want your decorative amaryllis bulbs anymore, give them to someone who loves growing plants at home, so it's the gift that keeps on giving.

How to Plant: Start by cutting off old flower stems. If a seed pod is formed, it will consume more energy from the bulb. The Garden Club students started by using 3cm of rocks, 3-5cm of soil, and potting no more than 2-3cm of soil around the bulb.

Plant the bulb so that it protrudes the top inch or so of soil. Fill around the bulb with potting soil and firm gently. Plant the bulb in a pot that is not too large, with potting mix and a little potting soil in the bottom. Water just enough to completely moisten and settle the soil.

For best results, grow amaryllis in a relatively cool room (60-65 degrees F) with bright, indirect light. Expert Tip: Rotating the pot every few days will help keep the stems straight. You do not need to rotate when they are only in the leaf stage.

*Some amaryllis plants will naturally go dormant and lose their leaves, don't worry, they will come back to life. Some keep their leaves all year long. You can place your amaryllis outside during the warm summer months, but don't forget to bring it in at the end of summer!

One of the bulbs that the Garden Club students planted in a pot is now very happy, setting another bud stalk and will be blooming again soon! So BICS Garden Club students say: “Don't throw away your beautiful amaryllis bulb, plant it and let it grow for another day… and perhaps for years and years.”

(tags for translation) Gardening

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