Even you can grow this super easy houseplant
Although you may see amaryllis flowers already grown in grocery stores, flower shops, and nurseries, you are more likely to find these flowers in the form of dormant bulbs that you can grow indoors. If you’re a newbie to plant breeding, the idea of growing an entire plant from scratch may seem intimidating, but don’t let that discourage you. As long as you follow a few simple rules, your amaryllis bulb will be easy to please—and within weeks it will grow into a dramatic plant with giant, colorful blooms. When do the flowers end? Well, this plant can easily be convinced to regrow again next year.
Are you ready to try these classic holiday houseplants? Read on for more information about planting and caring for amaryllis, as told to you by houseplant experts.
What is amaryllis?
According to Zahid Adnan, founder of The Plant Bible, amaryllis flowers originate from South America in tropical and subtropical regions such as Argentina and Brazil. “Famous for their stunning flowers, these bulbous plants have become globally popular because of their vibrant blooms and ease of cultivation,” he says.
Amaryllis bulbs and plants are typically widely available at home centers, nurseries, grocery stores, and more during the holiday season (November through December). You may also find them in early spring.
The name of the amaryllis flower also has historical roots. According to Greek mythology, the girl Amaryllis fell in love with a shepherd and pierced his heart to win his love. The spilled blood produced equally beautiful flowers; When the amaryllis flower was named in 1837, its moniker was a tribute to this legendary tale.
True to its name, amaryllis are truly amazing. Its stately stems produce star-shaped flower heads that resemble tulips, but they are not closely related. Although the most common amaryllis colors are red and white, other colors, such as pink and orange, are also available.
If you have pets, note the following: Amaryllis is toxic to dogs and cats.
What should you look for when buying amaryllis?
Don’t be surprised if you head to your local nursery and find only amaryllis plants without flowers or if your online order looks less than aesthetically pleasing. Since it is a bulb, the flowers may take some time to grow and bloom.
Kate Russell, the pro behind The Daily Garden, says there’s no need to be alarmed when your amaryllis plants arrive looking like a pot of dirt with a stem sticking out. “These South American tropical bulbs are very tolerant and long-lived,” she says. “And the gorgeous lamps are worth the wait.”
Although amaryllis often arrive in a bunch, Lucy Bradley, plant expert at Two Wests and Elliott, encourages readers to buy any bulbs individually and inspect them carefully. “You want to make sure the bulb is firm and dry, with no signs of injury, decay or rot,” she says.
Bradley also suggests choosing larger bulbs, e.g Bulb size often indicates how many flowers your amaryllis will produce.
How to grow amaryllis bulbs
Amaryllis bulbs can grow in two ways: in soil or in water. (Some stores also sell wax-covered amaryllis bulbs, which can be grown directly inside their casing without any additional care except placing them in bright, indirect light.)
Below you will find instructions for both potting methods.
How to plant an amaryllis bulb in soil
If you are planting an amaryllis bulb in soil, the first thing you will need is an appropriate amaryllis pot.
Garden designer Jarima Osofsky She recommends choosing a planter that is approximately one inch wide and twice as tall as your bulb. This spacing will allow the roots to grow adequately.
Gardener’s Supply Co. also suggests using a pot that is heavy enough to prevent it from collapsing under the weight of multiple flowers.
In addition to your ship, you will also need The soil mixture is well-drained And Healthy amaryllis bulb.
Fill most of the pot with soil mixture.
Place the amaryllis bulb pointy side up, leaving the top third of the bulb exposed and away from the soil.
Place the pot in a location with bright, indirect light.
As the amaryllis grows, water sparingly only when the top half of the soil is dry.
Once you see 2 inches of growth from the bulb, start watering the soil when it feels dry at the top.
Rotate the pot occasionally to encourage upright stem growth.
You will begin to see amaryllis flowers in six to eight weeks. Each flower lasts about two to three weeks.
How to grow an amaryllis bulb in water
If you prefer to grow your amaryllis bulb in water, You’ll need a glass tornado to grow it. Make sure to choose a type that is sturdy enough that it will not tip over when the plant is fully grown.
The glass hurricane should be at least one inch wider than your amaryllis bulb and at least twice as tall.
Although the amaryllis roots will need access to water in the hurricane or vase, it is important that the bulb remain dry. To keep the bulb raised out of direct contact with water, you will need small pebbles or glass balls.
Finally, you will need, of course, Healthy amaryllis bulb And water.
Fill the bottom 3 inches of the container with gravel or marble.
Check the bottom of the bulb (this is the flat part). Trim any brown roots to prevent decay.
Place the lamp, side up, on top of the gravel.
Gently press the bulb down.
Add more rocks to cover half of the bulb, leaving the top half exposed.
Fill the container with water so that the level is just below — But no touching – the Flashlight.
Place the pot on a sunny windowsill and maintain the same water level, never allowing the bulb to sit in water.
What type of soil does amaryllis need?
The type of soil depends on how you want to introduce your amaryllis plant. If you are going to expose the bulb, choose a clear container, place a layer of stones or pebbles at the bottom, then place the bulb on top.
If you decide to pot your bulb, Adnan says amaryllis prefer well-drained soil so it can breathe and not rot.
Amaryllis can also be grown without soil at all. If you’re growing your bulbs hydroponically — meaning just in water — you’ll need to take some precautions to make sure the bulb doesn’t rot.
How often should you water amaryllis flowers?
Adnan also suggests watering your amaryllis bulb moderately once you plant it. “Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, especially during the dormant period,” he recommends. It is advised that excessive watering can lead to the bulb rotting, so giving the plant water but not over-moistening it is necessary.
Osofsky also stresses that you should never leave water standing at the bottom of the bowl. “It is important to allow the water to drain and avoid any water remaining at the bottom of the pot as this can cause root rot,” she says. A drainage hole is necessary for potted amaryllis.
When you water your amaryllis plant, Make sure to pour the water into the soil and not directly onto the bulb. This will help prevent the lamp from saturating.
What kind of light does amaryllis need?
According to Osofsky, Enjoy amaryllis Bright, indirect light. She recommends placing it in a location with gentle morning rays rather than harsh afternoon sun.
Temperature is also an important factor for tropical plants like amaryllis, so place your plant in an area away from winter drafts, Russell adds. Aim for a location that maintains a temperature between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
What type of fertilizers do amaryllis need?
Amaryllis plants don’t need a lot of extra nutrients, although Adnan suggests using a balanced fertilizer while the bulb is growing and flowering.
Once the plant goes dormant — after the flowers have died and the leaves have withered — there is no need to continue applying fertilizer.
How should you prune your amaryllis?
Removing spent parts is good for your plants and can help them look healthier, says Robert Silver, editor of the Pro Gardening Blog. He suggests trimming any leaves that die or begin to turn yellow.
“This not only contributes to the plant’s visual appeal, but also serves as a preventative measure against potential diseases,” Silver says. Removing any decaying foliage provides a cleaner environment for your plants and limits the rest of the plant’s exposure to fungi and diseases.
What are common amaryllis problems?
Wet soil can lead to mold and root rot; Both conditions can also lead to unwanted lesions.
“Fungus gnats can be a problem, so I recommend planting the bulb in a clay pot to help the soil dry out,” Osofsky advises.
Mealybugs are another potential nuisance, she adds. If you notice any, wipe them away with a paper towel dipped in rubbing alcohol.
How to Get Amaryllis Bulbs to Grow Again
Because amaryllis grow from a bulb, annual care is little different from traditional houseplants. Here are Osofsky’s recommendations on how to make your amaryllis bloom.
Once the flower has faded, cut the flower stem to one inch above the bulb.
Keep the bulb in the soil, then store the entire pot in a cool, dark place, such as a garage or mud room, for at least eight weeks.
Six to eight weeks before you want the bulb to bloom again, plant it in new soil and place it in bright, indirect light.
Water the plant intermittently until new growth appears, then resume watering regularly.
Creative ideas for planting and displaying amaryllis
While planning your amaryllis planting, use your creativity and incorporate some of Osofsky’s suggestions into your arrangement.
Plant several bulbs together in a spacious container for a dazzling floral display for use as a dining or entryway centerpiece.
Plant a variety of different bulbs in separate plantings, so you have a cascade of blooms during the winter months.
Display your amaryllis as a group of cut flowers. Once the flower has grown, you can cut it and place it in a vase of water for a stunning display.