The holiday season is full of plants, from Christmas trees to poinsettias to mistletoe. However, if we had to pick a favorite, there would be no contest: we love amaryllis.
These bright, beautiful, and bold blooms are easy to look at and even easier to grow. Showing up to a holiday party with an amaryllis in tow is a guaranteed way of bringing a smile. And, with their incredible ability to grow from the same bulb year after year, amaryllis are truly the gifts that keep on giving!
Read more about why this plant is so wonderful and how you can guarantee successful blooms this holiday season.
Amaryllis Plant Information
Botanical Name: Amaryllis belladonna (or Hippeastrum, if cultivated in South America)
Height: 12-36 inches, when fully grown
Flower Size: 4-10 inch diameter, when fully grown
Flowering Period: 7-10 weeks
Varieties & Colors: Popular varieties include the Alfresco (large; brilliantly-blossoming; white); Red Pearl (large; bright apple red); and candy cane (red and white striped)
How To Grow Amaryllis
Amaryllis are beautiful houseplants that are easy to grow if given the proper care. We recommend growing in a pot as opposed to soil, as these are indoor plants that can be finicky about temperature. Be sure to choose a pot that has good drainage, and plant using a nutrient-rich potting mix, watering often to keep the soil moist.
Aside from the logistical aspect of growing, you’ll need to be aware of exactly how to care for the flower bulbs. Amaryllis bulbs take a little bit of love and care, especially if you are looking to grow year after year, but the beautiful flowers make it all worth it.
Caring For Your Amaryllis Bulb
Once you decide to get growing, amaryllis is a relatively low-maintenance houseplant. A rich potting mix, good drainage holes, and regular waterings all contribute to the overall plant health.
Amaryllis is also interesting in that growers have the option to reuse their bulbs year after year. It may seem like an ambitious project for new plant enthusiasts, but in just a few steps, your amaryllis bulb can be a gift that keeps on giving.
The Ideal Amaryllis Growing Temperature
Plant bulbs prefer to be kept at a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees. Potted amaryllis should be kept inside for optimal growth in the winter months. If you have left your bulb to grow outside over the summer, be sure to bring it in before the first frost so that it has a long rest period to lie dormant.
How Much Sun Does Amaryllis Need To Grow?
Though amaryllis can tolerate both sun and shade, they definitely will enjoy full sun for at least four hours per day. We recommend setting your pot on a windowsill that provides plenty of light. However, if you see your leaves beginning to turn brown, this can indicate that the plant is burning and may need less sun.
How Much Water Do Amaryllis Bulbs Need?
To stimulate growth, new flower bulbs need about a cup of water to stimulate growth once they are planted. Oftentimes, bulbs will have a slow start in the beginning. Monitor the plant closely and water in small increments to keep the soil moist. Take care to not flood the soil or overwater
When growing amaryllis, you are going to need to watch out for several kinds of pests, most notably bulb mites and chewing insects such as caterpillars. Overwatering is a leading cause of bulb mites, so take care to keep your plant moisture balanced. And, if you see a caterpillar, remove it with your hands into a bowl of warm, soapy water.
Amaryllis Care Indoors
We recommend growing your amaryllis indoors during the cooler months, typically between around September to around April.
When growing indoors, place your plant on a sunny windowsill that gets around four hours of light per day. Water regularly to maintain the soil moisture, and be sure to give support to any stalks that are struggling to hold the weight of their flower.
Amaryllis Care Outdoors
If you are interested in growing your amaryllis outside, do so in the summer. Pick an area that gets partial sunlight (no more than four hours of direct sun) and water it often to keep the soil moist. Bring the bulb back inside before the first frost in the early fall.
What Is Amaryllis’ Flowering Period?
Amaryllis can flower anytime between December and June, depending on the temperature and grower preferences. The flowering period lasts between seven and ten weeks.
How To Reuse Your Amaryllis Bulb
If you are looking to reuse your amaryllis bulbs, once the flowering period has ended, be sure the cut the flower stems to about a half-inch above the top of the bulb. Take care to cut only the stem and not the green leaves that surround it; those will help your plant get the nutrients it needs.
After cutting the stems, move your container to sunny place indoors, watering regularly to keep the soil moist. When the weather begins to warm, you can move the container to a sunny location in your garden for the summer months. Make sure it is getting plenty of water, but do not overwater and make it soggy.
During the early fall, before the day of the first frost, bring the plant back inside and snip all foliage to about an inch above the bulb. You’ll then want to stop watering, and store it in a dry, dark place (like a basement) so that the bulb can go dormant.
How To Make Amaryllis Bulbs Rebloom
After the bulbs have gone through a dormant period of about ten to twelve weeks, it’s time to replant! Whenever you’re ready, complete the same steps that you did the year before, planting in nutrient-dense potting mix, stimulating the bulb with about a cup of water, and getting your plant lots of sunlight.
Grow Pro Tips For Amaryllis
Here are some of our experts’ best tips for growing amaryllis bulbs:
1. Location, location, location. Be sure that your plant has a good amount of sunlight to ensure that it thrives but not too much so that it burns.
2. Pick the right container. You really want something that has good drainage holes in it to ensure your amaryllis plant gets the moisture that it needs.
3. Give support. Amaryllis blooms can grow pretty tall. If you see your stems start to droop from the weight of their flowers, tie it to a bamboo splint or another sturdy pole.
4. Plan ahead. If you are looking to reuse your bulbs year after year, create a timeline of when each step of the process needs to happen. This is especially true when timing dormancy and reblooming periods in early fall and winter.
5. Share the love! Amaryllis are an amazing hostess or Christmas gift. Share a plant–and your new found growing advice–with someone you love.
Our Grow Pros Most Frequently Asked Questions
Amaryllis bulbs last between four and twelve weeks without being planted. Once in the ground, amaryllis flowers last between seven and ten weeks.
When planting an amaryllis bulb, you’ll need good light and rich potting soil. If you are storing one, keep it in a cool, dark, and dry place, like a shed or basement.
Move your plant to a sunny spot between 60 and 70 degrees to help impede growth, and make sure that you use a bamboo splint to give it enough support (they tend to be top-heavy). Amaryllis flowers do wonderfully in vases. Cut the flower stems and enjoy them for up to several weeks in your home.
Amaryllis bulbs do best when potted with the top of the bulb slightly exposed. Use a pot with good drainage holes, and place it in the windowsill of a sunny window. Make sure potted bulbs get lots of water and direct sunlight.
Absolutely! It takes a little bit of work, but you can enjoy your amaryllis flower year after year.
If nip the flower stalks about a half-inch above the bulb, taking care not to touch the leaves.
After snipping the flowers, move the plant to a sunny place indoors, then move it outside to a sunny location in your garden during the summer months. Make sure it is getting plenty of water, but do not overwater and make it soggy. During the early fall, bring the plant back inside and snip all foliage to about an inch above the bulb. Completely stop watering, and store in a dry, dark place (like a basement).
Dormancy should last between ten and twelve weeks. Work backward from the holiday season to determine the best time to tuck your bulbs in to rest.
Start Growing Amaryllis Today!
Have we sold you on amaryllis bulbs? Pick up yours today, and let’s get growing!