Secret Tips to Reblooming Amaryllis Bulb Successfully
The Spectacular Blooms of Amaryllis is a Bulbular Delight Like No Other
After discovering the spectacular bloom of the Amaryllis I have been so infatuated with the plant over the years that I usually buy several for myself each season as well as plant them as gifts. So many people cannot wait for poinsettias to arrive for the winter holidays at the garden center without thinking about the Amaryllis, but bloom lovers let me encourage you to pass by that boring trend. These fascinating beauties never disappoint that winter craving for a fresh bloom. Of course buying a bulb does not provide the immediate satisfaction of the color provided by a poinsettia, but the anticipation of the flamboyant flower is so worthwhile the wait not to mention how exciting it is to watch. If you can forego the instant gratification of the poinsettia, go for the Amaryllis bulbs instead. If you buy them early enough, you will have blooms for the entire winter holiday season. Those blooms will last you for at least a month from start to finish and some varieties can last for much longer. When choosing a large mature bulb, it may provide not only one, but potentially three stalks in a season. Each stalk provides several blooms like a lovely bouquet. What a treat that can be, especially for children to watch the daily progression.
Potting up the Bulb will stimulate the bulb and force the budding into bloom
When potting for the best results use a pot one inch bigger than the bulb and choose a deep pot that also gives support to planted bulb. Allow the top one-third of the bulb to peek out of the potting soil. Stagger the planting of your bulbs by potting up a new bulb every other week and begin watering each week thereafter. These bulbs respond to warmth, sunlight, and water. Though, I have seen the bulbs so anxious to bloom that they grew stalks and bloomed without being planted in soil or watered while awaiting purchase in the garden center where I worked. So apparently warmth and sunlight are the main stimulant to bring forth the budding process.
Watching the daily progression of growth is fascinating
When the bulb begins to produce leaves and/or a bud from the top, it will grow quickly. At first the leaves will come forth and a huge budded stalk will miraculously appear. As it does, the pot will require turning daily to keep the stalk straight as it will lean towards the sunshine as it grows. This is very important for keeping the balance of the plant after it blooms. Some blooms will be so big the plant could topple over or the stalk could break if leaning too much.
Continue to water weekly and fertilize once a month.
This Stage Two Budding, Actually became a third before it was finished blooming for the season
Reblooming the Amaryllis Is A Simple Process
The Key to successful reblooming: You have to escort the bulb into dormancy without letting it die. After the Amaryllis has finished its bloom, it must reacquire the energy it spent in preparation for the reblooming of next season through new leaves. Cut off the expired stalks all the way down to the bulb. The bulb will shoot out new leaves to soak up light and build energy, so do not cut off these important leaves. Continue to water the plant and move it to the sunniest place possible, south facing window is best until it is warm enough to take outside in the coming summer. Fertilize it monthly when watering and never allow it to dry out completely. When moving the plant outside, transition it before placing it in the direct sunlight. If leaves die back from transition, no worries, cut them off and cut back on the watering until new leaves appear. Around mid -August it is time to begin the dormancy period by withholding water and moving the bulb to a cooler (as close to 55 degrees as possible) and darker location back in the house. After the foliage begins to die back it is time to cut it off at the top of the bulb. You can also take the bulb out of the pot and let it rest in a root cellar like my grandmother used to do. This is the condition the bulb is in when you purchase the Amaryllis from the garden center. The bulb should feel firm, not soft or quishy.
Amaryllis Growing Out of The ConservatoryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Side Growth on Bulb That Will Need to Be Split
Repotting the Amaryllis for Reblooming
Come Fall, if you left your bulb in the pot and the pot is still the right size for the bulb, there is no need to repot. If your bulb is unpotted, it is now time to give your Amaryllis bulb a new home for the holidays.
Repot following the same above procedure for potting and water thoroughly. During this time the production of leaves to again add more energy to the bulb is encouraged. If your bulbs are anxious and root rather quickly, they may even start to produce buds very quickly after potting and watering resumes. I usually water the bulb with fertilizer monthly once it begins to sprout a bud.This past year I potted an Amaryllis bulb in the summer months it grew this huge stalk almost three foot tall (see picture). I think I gave it too much fertilizer and too dim light. So lesson learned, do not water with fertilizer too much and put it closer to the window for more light in a southern exposure when coming out of dormancy. Only after the Amaryllis begins to bloom, move it to the location you prefer to enjoy the blooming season.
If you continue to do this from season to season, the Amaryllis bulb will grow larger and multiply itself. When this happens, the smaller bulbs can be separated off the main bulb and continued to be nurtured into a separate plant. The small bulbs will leaf out when potted and watered, but likely not bloom for a couple years until becoming a more mature bulb. See the picture of my conservatory and the large stalk of the amaryllis, also notice the smaller leaves coming from the side of the larger bulb. This is an offspring that I will separate after the blooming period and during dormancy.
Reblooming South American Amaryllis Must Be on a Natural Cycle
Plant varieties together for planned succession
Amaryllis bulb manufacturers are forever experimenting with new hybrids and colors. Varieties are being created as I write. I found varieties online that can be planted together but will bloom in succession because of the variety of the bulb. So interesting, so like the tulip, we now have early, mid and late season blooming schedules because of the length of time it takes for a bloom to occur and the how long it continues to remain blooming during its flowering stage. Dutch bulb experts provide blooming season information at the Netherlands Flower Bulb Center (NFBIC)
Popular Amaryllis Varieties Chart
Early Season (5- 8 weeks to bloom)
MidSeason ( 7-10 weeks to bloom)
Late Season (9-12 weeks to bloom)
Red Lion Amaryllis are Holiday Favorites
Try it you will like it.
The Amaryllis, also called Hippeastrum or ‘knight star’, originated from South America and the Caribbean where the main blooming season is September to April. It is used by households in the winter months in the United States as a tropical that is popular for creating fabulous festive displays of blooms. Garden Centers sell these bulbs by the thousands for growing holiday splendor in households around the country in colors of pure white, shades of red, peach, and varieties of pink. I have also seen striped varieties and frilled edges on some. The flowering trumpets provide music to the eyes throughout the holiday seasons like no other. Creating a planter full of bulbs can be quite a spectacular festive holiday treat. In a holiday tour last year Red Amaryllis were cut and elegantly displayed in water containers across a huge wooden mantle, what a lovely site to see.
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