Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How to Plant, Care For & Rebloom Amaryllis

For many years I have picked up boxed Amaryllis kits from the store, watched them bloom and then discarded them. After finding a more unusual peach coloured Amaryllis I decided to try and keep it over to rebloom the following year. It worked great and this is the third year it has bloomed for me. Here is how I go about planting a new bulb as well as what after bloom care is required so it will bloom again in the following season:
Planting an Amaryllis Bulb:

Start by selecting the largest bulb you can find and inspect that it does not have any moldy spots and that it is firm. Now find a pot that will accommodate the bulb leaving 1" between the pot lip and the bulb.

Fill the pot about 3/4 full of potting soil and then place the bulb in. Now add soil until the bulb is 2/3 below the soil, leaving 1/3 of the bulb above the soil. Tamp the soil down and give it a good soaking. Then place the potted bulb in the strongest light you can provide and water very sparingly until the blooms starts to develop. This will fend off any rot that can occur well the roots start to develop.

This one is already starting to bloom out of the package!

After 2-4 weeks you will have a blooming Amaryllis.
Caring for an Amaryllis after it blooms:

After the Amaryllis blooms you should cut off the flower stock(s) and keep it in the strongest light you can provide. It will grow strap like leaves that are approximately two feet long over the winter. The plant should be watered once a week or after the soil has started to dry out. As soon as there is no risk of frost the plant should be hardened off into full sun outside. This will allow the plant to flourish in the sunshine, feeding the bulb for the next bloom. Leave the plant outside until it is hit by a light frost or until the temperatures are in the 0-2c (32-36f) range.

Then bring the plant in, place it in a cool spot and stop watering. The leaves will then die back, the bulb will rest and start developing the next bloom.

When it is close to Christmas starts to lightly water the bulb until the bloom(s) start to emerge from the bulb. Once this happens move the bulb back into the strongest light you can provide and start the whole process over again.

Taken Dec 17th when it received its first drink after its rest.

Taken Jan 5th, each bulb has one bloom
head emerging. I hope there is more to
come, it is not uncommon to have
two bloom heads per bulb.

This process has work every time I have tried it. With very little work you will be rewarded with some beautiful blooms in the dead of winter and the best part is reblooming an Amaryllis is FREE!


  1. Hi Dan, Very good information. My father gave me a bulb for Christmas one year. Not knowing any better I kept the bulb and the next year it began growing on its own. I had two blooms that year. Now in the third year I am not certain it will grow. I did repot it. It is late this year but we'll see.

  2. Someone had given us an amaryllis a few years ago, and we were able to get it to bloom a second year, probably because we cared for it in the same manner, though we didn't give it much thought. Interesting that you advise to stop watering for a while. After we had kept it outdoors over the summer and watered it with everything else, we neglected it a bit which is a tendency of ours in the fall when things get busy. So we were surprised to get that second bloom!

  3. I was just thinking about Amaryllis' and posted about it: http://red-icculus.com/?p=148

    'Tis the season. Thanks for the guide.

  4. I can not wait to see both in bloom...
    Your heading looks good with the outline...
    Nice job

  5. My sister has tons of different amaryllis! She loves them... I've never known how to grow them myself. Thanks for the info :-)