Top tips for keeping your amaryllis looking beautiful – including simple mistakes to avoid

Top tips for keeping your amaryllis looking beautiful – including simple mistakes to avoid

Much like poinsettias, amaryllis scream Christmas. It is relatively easy to grow, making it attractive to both novice and experienced gardeners. There's just one pitfall in particular that you need to pay attention to

Amaryllis are known for their broad, vibrant blooms, and come in a wide range of colors, including but not limited to red, pink, white, and orange.(Getty Images)

Often given as a Christmas gift, the stunning Amaryllis plant adorns many festive front rooms at this time of year.

But their sunshine doesn't have to be limited to Christmas, and with the right care you can have these beautiful red-petaled plants that bloom well into the New Year. Amaryllis, which produce large, vibrant flowers that thrive indoors, are typically grown from bulbs, although you can purchase mature specimens if desired.

For effective care of these festive flowers, flower preservation specialist Magenta Flowers has shared some top tips to keep you on track. When taking care of the watering needs of houseplants, it is important to avoid allowing them to remain in water, as this may lead to root rot, which ultimately harms the plant.

As such, the recommended approach is to keep the soil barely moist. A simple finger dip test helps determine the need for watering: if the soil is wet, it is recommended to wait. During watering, extra care is advised to prevent the visible part of the bulb above the soil from getting wet, and excess water must be allowed to drain completely.

To ensure the health of the plant, it is recommended to keep it out of direct sunlight, keeping the room temperature around 15°C. Sudden changes in temperature should be avoided, because amaryllis is sensitive to drafts and excessive heat. Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) experts suggest turning the pot regularly to prevent the flower stem from growing towards the light source.

For sustained flowering over the years, the RHS recommends cutting spent flower spikes down to the base after flowering is complete. Amaryllis plants can also be easily propagated, producing flowering bulbs identical to the parent plant. The RHS advises separating offsets from the main bulb during repotting from January to March, ensuring offsets have their own roots. Plant them in individual pots with free-draining compost, maintaining a temperature of 21°C, and feed them in the same way as potted seedlings.

Cautionary note:

Amaryllis contains substances that can be harmful if ingested, so keep it out of the reach of pets and young children. Additionally, handling the bulbs may cause skin irritation in some individuals, so wear gloves while planting or handling.

Amaryllis facts

Amaryllis belongs to the genus Hippeastrum, and is a bulbous flowering plant native to South America, specifically in tropical and subtropical regions.

Amaryllis are known for their broad, vibrant blooms, displaying a wide range of colors, including but not limited to red, pink, white and orange. Some varieties display flowers with multiple stripes or colors.

A highly preferred choice for indoor gardening, amaryllis bulbs are commonly grown in pots and can be induced to flower indoors throughout the winter, providing a stunning enhancement to home décor.

The plant is relatively easy to grow, and is attractive to both novice and experienced gardeners. Planting bulbs in well-drained soil and exposing them to bright, indirect light are basic needs for successful growth.

The flowers are remarkably long-lived, often decorating their surroundings for several weeks. This perpetual flowering period contributes greatly to the plant's appeal as an ornamental option.

How to maintain lamps

Amaryllis bulbs can be preserved and reused for subsequent blooming cycles. After the flowers fade, storing the bulb in a cool, dark place makes it easier to encourage new blooms with proper care and favorable conditions.

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