Do you grow Amaryllis in the winter? Some of my readers from warmer climates can grow these beauties outdoors, but here in Minnesota we grow them indoors. Amaryllis bulbs are big, chunky bulbs and often come in pretty boxes for gift giving. Follow along today as I share some tips on growing Amaryllis Bulbs indoors.
Amaryllis bulbs are marketed as Christmas flowers, but I don’t plant mine until after the holidays. I don’t have room to get bulbs going with all the Christmas décor. Plus, I love picking up the bulbs on clearance and then having them bloom in February and March when I’m sick of the winter gloom. There’s nothing more cheery to me in the winter than the big, bright blooms of amaryllis flowers. I’m going to stagger out my planting this year, so I can have several weeks of Amaryllis blooms.
Not the best picture, but I love the contrast of the red Amaryllis against the white snow.
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Supplies for Growing Amaryllis
- Amaryllis Bulb – the bigger the bulb, the more blooms you’ll get
- Potting Mix – I’m going to try these this year
- Container with drainage holes and a saucer
- Water and Fertilizer
How to Grow Amaryllis Indoors
According to Pinterest, there are about 155 different ways to get your Amaryllis bulbs growing (said in jest), but I will just stick with what works for me.
- Fill your container with new potting mix only about a third to half full.
- Set your bulb in the pot on top of the potting mix like the picture below.
- Add more soil and tamp it down a bit until about 1/3 of the bulb is still showing above the top of the potting mix.
- Tamp the potting mix around the bulb.
- Sit the pot in the sink and water (add the fertilizer at this time) it allowing the water to drain completely.
- As the soil settles in around the roots after watering, you may need to add a little more soil. Leave 1/3 to 1/2 of the bulb above the soil.
- Be sure to set your pot on a saucer to catch water runoff.
- Place in a sunny window.
It’s so exciting to see the green tips start emerging from the bulb. In my experience, it usually takes 4 – 6 weeks before the blooms start.
My Amazon Amaryllis Bulb Picks (Pssst… they make wonderful gifts)
How to Take Care of Your Amaryllis
- Water the plant when the top inch or so of the soil feels dry.
- Each time you water allow the plant to drain completely and then empty the saucer.
- Don’t forget to turn your pot, so the stem grows straight.
- To lengthen the bloom time, once your Amaryllis starts blooming, move it out of direct sunlight.
What to Do With Your Amaryllis Bulb After It’s Bloomed
- Once the flowers have faded, cut them off so they don’t form seeds which will zap energy from the bulb.
- Leave the flower stalk until it turns yellow.
- The green stems will continue to supply energy to the bulb, so don’t cut those off.
- Move the plant back to a sunny window and allow it to continue to grow.
- Continue to water and fertilize.
- In the Spring, when all danger of frost has past, you can move your Amaryllis plant outdoors.
- Acclimate it to the outdoors just like you would any other plant. Starting off in shade and then moving it to full sun.
- Again continue to water and fertilize your Amaryllis plant all summer long.
- Bring the plant back inside before the first frost.
I used to just put my Amaryllis in the basement after it bloomed and then bring it out when I was ready for it to bloom again. Sometimes I got blooms and sometimes I did not. After doing some research, I learned that Amaryllis bulbs don’t really need a period of dormancy, but they can be forced into dormancy so you can control the bloom time. However, when the Amaryllis is not blooming, it’s just not a pretty plant. So this spring I moved my amaryllis pots outside for the summer. I read that doing this nourishes the bulb and you’re more likely to get better blooms. I basically watered and fertilized the plants over the summer. When I went to bring my pots in, I discovered that a squirrel had eaten one of my bulbs, so I’m down to one bulb to experiment with this year.
Now the plant is in the dark in our cool basement and I’ll pull it out and start the growing process again sometime in late January or early February. While it’s in a forced period of dormancy, I don’t water or fertilize it.
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Have you grown Amaryllis? Do you grow them as a Christmas flower, or do you wait and start them later like I do? Leave a comment and let me know.
Thanks so much for stopping by Gingham Gardens today. Consider hanging out for awhile. I have a really great Gift Guide for Gardeners for that special gardener in your life… even if it’s you. Oh, and if you like the idea of making DIY gifts, be sure to check out the post DIY Candle Making, it’s easier than you think. There are lots and lots of gardening posts that include Flower Garden makeovers and Flower Garden tours. If you love flowers and gardening, Gingham Gardens is the place for you.
My blogging friend Liz posted an article on Amaryllis. She picked up a few very interesting Amaryllis bulbs at Home Depot and she shows how she planted them. Stop by and check her post out when you have a minute.
p.p.s. Follow Gingham Gardens on Pinterest for lots of great gardening ideas and tons of gardener’s eye candy.
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