Monday, February 11, 2013

Growing Amaryllis in Winter

A couple of weeks before Christmas I bought an Amaryllis bulb at a local supermarket. The kit contained potting soil, planter and the bulb itself. See the dates below - how fascinating it was to observe the growth of this beautiful flower!

Advices from
  1. Choose your containers with an understanding that big amaryllis bulbs develop very large, heavy flowers. To keep bulbs that are in full flower from toppling over, select pots, tubs or urns that weight several pounds each when empty. Or add some weight in the form of rocks or sand to the bottom of the containers. Also, keep in mind that you'll want to protect windowsills and other surfaces from draining water.
  2. Fill your containers with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes; the bulbs must never sit in waterlogged soil or they will rot.
  3. Site the containers where they will receive bright light or partial sun. Cooler temperatures (55-65F) will prolong flower life so consider placing your pots in an area that's a bit on the cool side.
  4. Plant your amaryllis singly in pots that are a bit snug, ones with diameters 1"-2" larger than that of the bulbs. For several amaryllis bulbs in the same container, plant close to each other with shoulders about an inch apart for the most brilliant display. Tuck them in so that the top inch of the bulb is above the soil surface. The top of the bulb is the part that looks a little like the stem area of an onion and the bottom has a flat plate, often with a few roots attached.
  5. Water well, gently soaking the soil and settling it around the bulb. After the initial watering, wait to add more moisture until after you see stem and/or leaf growth to prevent over-watering. One of the most common problems that occur with indoor amaryllis is over-watering.
  6. Enjoy your colorful flowering pots. Most good quality amaryllis bulbs with produce more than one flower stem, each with 3-5 flowers.  As your amaryllis grow rotate pots a quarter turn every day or two to keep stems upright and to counteract their tendency to lean towards the light.
  7. When blooming is finished trim off the flower stems. See our page on post bloom care if you want to try to get your amaryllis to re-bloom next year.

    In full bloom - January 9, 2013:
Amaryllis Growth Progress

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