Amaryllis comes from the Greek word Amarysso which means to sparkle. And this houseplant, coming in a range of colors, will surely add a pop of color when it blooms during the dreary winter months. Amaryllis flowers can come in be reds, whites, pinks, and oranges.
Though many people believe that this flower can only last a single season, this is not true. Native to the African continent, Amaryllis can bloom for up to 75 years. And though most purchased today are hybrids with Hippeastrum, native to Central and South America, you can care for it in an annual reblooming. Here is how you can take care of an amaryllis plant effectively!
Bulb Selection and Potting
There are several Amaryllis bulb types you can choose from, each with its own flower designs and sizes. The general rule of thumb is that larger bulbs will provide more flower stalks with up to three per blooming season! And bulbs with offshoots can be removed and planted separately to become their own plant.
Amaryllis grow best in a narrow container with a diameter about an inch wider and twice the height of your bulb. The flower doesn’t need consistent repotting and can do well when only done every 3-4 years.
The planting process is simple. First, fill the pot halfway with potting soil, and place the bulb with the pointed end up in the air. Finish with more soil until only the top 1/3 of the bulb is exposed. When fertilizing, it is best to pick one that is high in phosphorous.
How Do I Take Care of My Amaryllis in Winter?
The beauty of the Amaryllis is the blooming of natural reds and pink during the holiday season. And though it takes some special attention to time the colorful blooming, this plant is known for an easy-care routine throughout the year.
However, when you try to time your Amaryllis for a winter rebloom, care begins in late summer as you transition your plant back inside during early fall. Make sure it’s before the first frost because it will not survive in a cold environment.
If you are trying to have them bloom for Christmas, you should allow them to fall into their dormant period at the beginning of September. To do this, trim the flower stems 1-2 inches above the top of the bulb. Then you place it in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Dormant Period Points
During this dormant period, you completely stop watering it. And since it is a tropical plant, watering is the most significant sign for identifying when it should go dormant. Though Amaryllis doesn’t require this period, it will ‘rest’ for 10-12 weeks until the end of October.
When this period is over, you will want to place it in a sunny spot of bright, indirect light. Wait for the first leaves to appear before you resume watering your Amaryllis plant. Make sure you wait for the new growth to occur; otherwise, you make the bulb prone to rot.
From this point, bloom time is about 6-8 weeks before you will notice the flower buds – just time for the December holidays! At this time, you can keep it in diffused light and cooler indoor temperatures to extend the blooming season.
Should I Cut the Leaves Off of My Amaryllis?
It is best to trim the fading flowers from your plant to prevent them from seeding, especially if you want to recycle the bulb for another year. It allows the Amaryllis to conserve energy in other areas.
Once the flowers are done blooming, and you complete the pruning, the next phase of care begins. At this point, you will put the remaining stem on a windowsill to help the bulb store more energy for the following year. Then, waiting until the stem turns yellow, you will trim it down to 1-2” above the bulb with a sharp knife.
It is essential to note the difference between the stalk and the leaves. You can trim the stalk back, but trimming the leaves will damage the plant’s ability to store energy throughout spring and summer. When the outdoor temperatures remain consistently above 50 degrees, you can move your Amaryllis outdoors. Starting it off in the shade for a couple of days, you can slowly move it into more direct sunlight.
How Much Water Does it Need?
After the winter-blooming and pruning, the bulb will still require regular watering. During this time, keep the soil moist but not soggy, watering it when the first two inches of soil become dry. Once you get to through fall dormancy, you will begin the process again with no watering.
If you overwater your plant, you may run into multiple problems that can damage the bulb. When it comes to pests, it can also cause what is known as Fungus Gnats.
How Much Sunlight Does an Amaryllis Plant Need?
The flower has different sunlight needs throughout the years. During the blooming winter, spring and summer, your Amaryllis will need about 6 hours of daily sunlight. And once you get to the dormant season in autumn, the bulb will need no sunlight as it needs a dark and cool place to thrive.
How to Take Care of an Amaryllis Plant – Final Thoughts
In summary, the charm of the Amaryllis is the bloom of colors it can bring to your home in the winter months with a relatively easy-care routine. Remember, Amaryllis comes from the Greek word Amarysso which means to sparkle. So be sure to visit this blog post to find helpful tips and tricks to take care of your next Amaryllis plant!