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What Do I Do With My Amaryllis Now?

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What Do I Do With My Amaryllis Now?

My mom received an Amaryllis - Hippeastrum for the holidays. ‘What do I do with my Amaryllis now?’  

Amaryllis is a popular holiday gift plant because the bulbs bloom large, showy flowers indoors and they are affordable. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.  Amaryllis is tropical and need those same conditions to bloom again.  Here are a few tips:

Amaryllis should be placed in a spot that is around 60 degrees F, filtered light with moist but not soaking wet soil.  The bloom should last for several weeks.

After the last flower has faded, cut the flower stalk near the top of the bulb. Try not to damage the leaves or any new flower stalk. Don’t panic if a large amount of sap runs out; this is a sign of a healthy plant.

In winter, start giving your amaryllis fertilizer, and increase light and water. The growth phase is starting. Leaf production is the main goal right now to bulk up the bulb for next year’s flowers.  Move it to the sunniest spot in your house and use liquid fertilizer monthly. The soil should be moist, so never let it dry out.

Move the plant outdoors in spring after frost threat is over. Place in a sunny spot, water daily and fertilize every two weeks.

If you want your amaryllis to bloom for the holidays, mid-August is the time for it to go dormant. Stop watering, and move it indoors to a cool spot around 55 degrees F. It should lose most or all of its leaves. Check your amaryllis every week and keep the bulb on the dry side. After eight to ten weeks flower stalks should be peeking through the soil. For the next three weeks move the plant to a warm spot and begin watering again. Flower stalks and leaves are growing and this is when you may repot. Use fresh soil and a pot no bigger than two times the diameter of the bulb. At least one-third of the bulb should be showing above the soil line. Water thoroughly and place in a sunny spot. After the first flower, move it into filtered light. The process then starts all over again.

Narcissus bulb fly, mites and mealy bugs are some of the insects that like amaryllis bulb. Proper watering and sanitation practices will prevent most insect infestations or diseases.

A good resource for garden pests is the Advice, Tips and Resources page found in Gardening Help. It has detailed information on all the pests that might decide to visit your garden.

-Debbie Kirkpatrick, Kemper Horticulture Assistant

Posted in: Winter | Tags: Amaryllis , bulbs | Comments (0) | View Count: (2611)
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