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Amaryllis Planting and Care


By balcony


Amaryllis Planting and Care

Amaryllis flowering on living room table

Amaryllis Quick Tips:

Planting Period: October until the end of April.
Flowering Period:  Late December until the end of June.
Flowering time is 7-10 weeks.
Larger bulbs produce more flowers.
Always store un-planted bulbs in a cool place between 40-50 deg. F.

Amaryllis-One of a Kind:

Of all flowering bulbs, amaryllis are the easiest to bring to bloom.  This can be accomplished indoors or out, and over an extended period of time.  The amaryllis originated in South America’s tropical regions and has the botanical name Hippeastrum.  The large flowers and ease with which they can be brought to bloom make amaryllis popular and in demand worldwide.  The amaryllis comes in many beautiful varieties including various shades of red, white, pink, salmon and orange.  There are also many striped and multicolored varieties, usually combining shades of pink or red with white.

Preparation for Planting:

The base and roots of the bulb should be placed in lukewarm water for a few hours.  Remember, if you cannot plant the bulbs immediately after receiving them, store them at a cool temperature between 40-50 degrees F.


Plant bulbs in a nutritious potting compost, many are available pre-mixed.  Plant the bulb up to its neck in the potting compost, being careful not to damage the roots.  Press the soil down firmly to set the bulb securely in place after planting.

Placement and Watering:

Plant the bulb, or place the potted bulb in a warm place with direct light since heat is necessary for the development of the stems.  The ideal temperature is 68 to 70 degrees F. (Living room temperature!) Water sparingly until the stem appears, then, as the bud and leaves appear, gradually water more.  At this point, the stem will grow rapidly and flowers will develop after it has reached full growth.

Amaryllis flowering in kitchen

Flowering Period:

Bulbs will flower in 7-10 weeks as a general rule.  In winter the flowering time will be longer than in spring.  Set up your planting schedule between October and April with this in mind.  To achieve continuous bloom, plant at intervals of 2 weeks for stunning color in your home or garden.

After-Bloom Care:


After the amaryllis has stopped flowering, it can be made to flower again.  Cut the old flowers from the stem after flowering, and when the stem starts to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb.

Amaryllis flowering in kitchen

Leaf Growth and Development:

Continue to water and fertilize as normal all summer, or for at least 5-6 months, allowing the leaves to fully develop and grow. When the leaves begin to yellow, which normally occurs in the early fall, cut the leaves back to about 2 inches from the top of the bulb and remove the bulb from the soil.

Bulb Storage:

Clean the bulb and place it in a cool (40-50 deg. F), dark place such as the crisper of your refrigerator for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Caution: Do not store amaryllis bulbs in a refrigerator that contains apples, this will sterilize the bulbs.

Store the bulbs for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Plant Again:

After 6 weeks you may remove bulbs whenever you would like to plant them. Plant bulbs 8 weeks before you would like them to bloom.

I copied this text from the newsletter I get from:

Amaryllis & Caladium Bulb Co

A couple of years ago I copied a very similar article from the same place. I make no apologies for repeating it as I’m sure many of you will receive one of these lovely plants over the Christmas period &, once it has amazed & delighted you with its lovely flowers, will wonder "Now what do I do with it? Can I keep it? Will it flower again? If so, how do I go about getting it to flower again?

If you follow the advice above then you can get an Amaryllis to flower again for many more years & to increase along the way!

Just follow the instructions above & they will delight you for many more years to come! :-))

Save this article for a future moment – you will never regret it!

The photos are of my Amaryllis at home & I’ve included them to “animate” the blog a little.

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Never knew you should take them out of the pots - I just let the compost dry out. Will try to remember next year.
I think you must have more in the house than anybody in the country!

23 Oct, 2015


Thanks Balcony, I never knew about storing them in the fridge or about the apples affecting them, I have just repotted last years bulbs, I will be ecstatic if they flower again for me....

23 Oct, 2015


Your flowers are stunning and the information is invaluable. Thanks for the care instructions.

24 Oct, 2015


I have my red one back in doors and potted up, it has gone quite leggy is there anything I should do to it please balcony? Was wondering if I should snip off some of the leaf growth as it has become so tall. No sign of flower stem yet! or is it best to leave it alone and let it do its own thing. Have fed and watered it and it is in an easterly facing window. Advice gratefully accepted thanks. :O)

24 Oct, 2015


Thank you so much for your info. I needed it so badly. I have a little crop of Amaryllis. question: I have summered them in the garden which seems to work however two have bloomed in the middle of the summer. will they bloom again? I am treating them as though they did not bloom. Sorry to hear about the computer, bummer about your pics. Mine were deleted when I changed computers also. In a way, it's a relief, now I can start over!

24 Oct, 2015


All mine are in the greenhouse in full leaf, no flower stems as yet, do I leave them to die back or will they flower with all the leaves on ?? lovely blog and great advise ....

24 Oct, 2015


One of mine didn't lose its leaves even though I stopped watering it. Have just repotted them but didn't know about putting them in the fridge. We'll just have ot wait and see.

24 Oct, 2015


I'm so glad that so many of you have found this blog useful! I copied & pasted it into GoY in the hopes it would be! It is information I copied from the website but most of it is the same as my experience over the years.

I must confess that I've never overwintered them or put them in the fridge ever! My overwintering comes from letting them stand all winter on a cold windowsill in the kitchen & the two bedrooms.

Until last winter, when I brought them home from the cold greenhouse on Gerry's allotment, I'd never done anything different. But because I had too many, to even stack in tiers 3 high in the windows of our flat, I kept half of them on top of the wardrobes in the two bedrooms. They remained in their original pots but I just left them, literally, bone dry, they didn't get a single drop of water from the end of August the previous year till I noticed the buds beginning to grow out of the necks of the bulbs, in some cases as early as January but in most cases later & I was even waking them up from hibernation as late as March! They then tend to flower about the same time as the Daffodils out on the balcony! Obviously the later they were woken up the later they flowered!

26 Oct, 2015


@ Stera: When you buy them in the shops or GCs what are they like? Mostly they are dry bulbs you buy, just like you'd buy your Daffodils. So why wouldn't you be able to overwinter them out of their pots? In fact that is just what I intend to do this year! (It'll be a first for me as well!) There simply isn't the room for them to be overwintered this year in their pots like I did last year. The wardrobes this year are chock-a-block on top!

You may possibly be right that I have more Amaryllis in my house than anybody else in the country! LOL!

@Lincslass: I have known about apples causing the Amaryllis bulbs to be blind for some years now but as mine never go in the fridge (nor do the apples most of the time!) I'm glad you have managed to keep them growing during the summer & I hope they will flower for you next year! :-)) Mine never fail to flower the following year & I don't do anything different than I do for any other plant I have! The last few years I've become more "daring" in my approach to growing them but still get tonnes of flowers just the same!

26 Oct, 2015


@Oliveoil: I'm glad your plant has survived the summer but you shouldn't have potted it up now! This time of year you should be giving them a rest not encouraging them to make more growth! Repot if necessary in the spring AFTER flowering has finished then they will go on to make strong plants during the summer. Any way they should be kept a little potbound as that way they flower better. Don't repot them more than every third year - it won't hurt the bulbs as long as you feed them during the growing season. Don't worry about roots coming out the drainage holes in the pots, this is normal & again won't hurt the plants.

As for the long leaves this is normal in Amaryllis plants! That's the reason I can't keep them on my balcony during the summer & take them down to Gerry's allotment between the end of May & the end of October!

As you have repotted your bulb the leaves won't die down this winter. If you can help it I don't think you should cut them back. Even so you could probably cut them back by half in a month or so but don't water them any more till the New Year at the earliest. Once again this will not hurt them & will force them to rest. You may start to see the first flower bud as early as January. But DON'T water any more before then! The orientation of the window is of little importance as long as you can keep the plant frost free.

26 Oct, 2015


@Wells: I can't really give you a hard & fast answer as every bulb reacts differently to the treatment we give them. I have had a few that have flowered during the summer as well. In fact the first, & only, red one I bought, back in 2001, from a street market as a loose, unnamed bulb, often flowered twice a year! But the bi-coloured one & the white ones I bought at the same time, although treated exactly the same, never bloomed more than once a year, in fact the white only bloomed a couple of time till I lost it! The other one flowered every year but only once.

I no longer know which ones may have flowered twice in the same year as I have so many! I can't keep track of individual plants when I have well over a hundred plants to look after!

Just follow the advice to let them have a cold, dry rest during the winter. About 3 months will do them. Don't worry about the leaves but keep the bulbs cold & dry, DON'T water them till you see a bud appearing in the neck & then only sparingly as the roots have to regrow, just like a recently bought bulb that you have just potted up! Keep the bulbs in a frost proof place. It makes little difference if they have light or darkness. What they really need is REST & COLD to flower again.

26 Oct, 2015


@Stripes: Leave your bulbs to dry back. To get them to bloom successfully next year you must give them a couple or three months of COLD,DRY REST!

So don't give them any more water for several months, not until you see the flower bud beginning to emerge from the neck of the bulb. Then only water a little, the roots will have died back during the rest period & will need to grow again. Treat your bulb like one just bought, i.e. put it in a light, warm place & only water a little from time to time. Not until the flowers have finished & the plant starts to grow again should you water it more.

Don't worry about the leaves, whether they die back or no. If you have the space just leave them alone, they may or may not die back but the important thing to remember is a COLD & DRY REST period of several months. Whether you leave them in their pots or not is up to you but don't repot them before seeing the bud appear in the neck of the bulb. As they flower better potbound don't repot for at least 3 years. Just fertilize with a general fertilizer for the first 3 months after flowering has finished (Don't feed before flowers die & the leaves are growing again, they have all the food they need in the bulb & you are wasting fertilizer as well as causing a potential build up of salts in the compost). During the summer months feed them weekly with a liquid tomato or rose feed which are high in potash which encourages flower production.

26 Oct, 2015


@Stera: Don't worry about the leaves! It makes no difference to the plant if they stay green or die off. Some of my bulbs lose their leaves in a short time others keep their leaves though they haven't had a single drop of water in 6 months!

Just keep your bulbs COLD & DRY so they can rest during the winter. You can even cut them off if you like as this makes no difference to the results the following year if they have been well looked after all summer. Don't repot the bulbs at this time of the year. Only repot them AFTER flowering has finished. Even then they can stay in the same pot for 3 years at least if you regularly feed them during the growing season. They flower better if they are pot bound.

Don't worry about putting them in the fridge either, I've never done this & mine flower well year after year! The most important thing is to give them a rest for several months. While they rest it makes not the slightest bit of difference if they are in a windowsill or in a dark place whether they have leaves or not.

26 Oct, 2015


I hope my comments will help you all to get the very best out of your plants in the coming years.

ALL my advice is based on my own experience & that is what I've done with my bulbs over the last 15 years in the UK.

The photos I've uploaded over the years are of my very own plants grown from my own seed that came from the first 3 bulbs I bought at a street market here in 2001.

I've never gone a single year without the bulbs flowering & multiplying like rabbits, hence the great number I have! I've written blogs on growing them from seed to flowering, in fact I think the 2nd blog I ever wrote on GoY was of growing my Amaryllis from seed & their progress over 4 years till they flowered for the first time.

If anyone has queries on growing Amaryllis then I will be glad to try to answer them, if I can! If I can't I will try to find the information elsewhere - the Internet is a goldmine of information on practically anything under the sun!

You can send me a PM or ask a question on any of my blogs. I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. I'm no expert or professional grower just a keen amateur who can only speak from his own experiences of growing these lovely bulbs since Christmas 1982 when he was given his very first bulb.

26 Oct, 2015


Thanks Balcony this has not been re-potted, its been outside since it finished flowering/dormant. I only brought it back indoors when the leaves started to show, it has grown leggy since I brought it indoors. I did let it die back after flowering as you instructed and just chopped off the old flower head then the leaves died back of their own accord once I stopped watering it. I think maybe it is too dark here hence the leggy growth. I will leave it to do its own thing and see what happens, no sign of a flower stem as yet. Thanks again Barbara (Olive oil) :O)

27 Oct, 2015


I am sorry if I confused you as to the potting up, I only topped the compost up in the original pot and brought it and put it inside another colourful pot on the windowsill, not all fresh compost. The bulb seems to be firm so I am very hopeful for a flower bud. lol.

27 Oct, 2015


Thanks Balcony, for the very informative write up about storing and keeping amaryllis. It's a very interesting read and you have encouraged me to think about growing these very colourful plants ;-)

30 Oct, 2015


Thank you Balcony great help, shall let you know if they flower this year or not a couple of them are only babies....

30 Oct, 2015


I get it. And thank you so much for answering my question. Cold and Dry and not repotting. And REST. Sounds like a recipe for the Dead. or perhaps a Detox place. Anyway, you are a dear to answer all these questions. No fridge for me, not enough room. I always thought the dark imperative.

6 Nov, 2015


I was just given a potted Amaryllis in a glass bowl and I appreciate your advice here on what to do with it.

7 Nov, 2015


Hi Bathgate. I'm afraid I have absolutely no experience at all in growing Amaryllis in water. I have grown Hyacinths in water and then potted them up in compost and they have flowered in subsequent years. I can only suggest you give it a try. You have nothing to lose and a bulb to win! Try not to break the roots or the leaves. Use fairly dry compost and move the bulb up and down a little to try to make sure there are no air pockets among the roots. Then give it a good soaking and put the pot in a light place but not in direct sunlight. Try to keep it out of the wind as much as possible. Make sure the shoulders of the bulb are above the compost.

Good luck with your Amaryllis and please keep us informed if you decide to pot it up. We can all learn from your experience - me included! ?

9 Nov, 2015


Thanks Balcony. I'm sorry for not making this clear, but it is already potted up in compost within the glass bowl with the shoulders just above the soil. I just need information regarding watering & lighting. I have by a south facing window behind a curtain sheer. Would it bloom near a north facing window? That's where I have my desk. It would nice to have it on my desk.

9 Nov, 2015


I thought it was growing in water! If it's growing in compost and has finished flowering then all you need to do is to cut off the flower stem, be careful as it will be full of water, then, if the leaves are growing, give it some liquid fertiliser, general, all purpose, every couple of weeks for about 3-4 months then for another few months a high potash feed for tomatoes or roses. Just be careful not to leave it in water,these bulbs have thick, fleshy roots which can rot quickly. They prefer to be dry rather than wet.

Just follow the instructions in my blog above and there is no reason it shouldn't bloom again next year.

As for light it would be best if it can get as much sun as possible but a South facing window would be too hot and the sun too strong during summer. As the plant produces very long straplike leaves it's not very attractive out of flower. It also needs plenty of room! You there for might like to leave it where it is till late spring. It may not grow much anyway till then.

Hope this helps.

11 Nov, 2015


What a mine of information you are Balcony. I just put a pic on of 4 bulbs I bought yesterday and wandered through Amaryllis and found your blog. Absolutely fascinating!! Thank you.

2 Feb, 2016


I've just been along to see your photo & I've left a comment.

Glad my blog is of help to you & I hope your lovely big bulbs flower for you very soon. They look like very healthy bulbs as well as being big enough to get at least 2 scapes from each.

Looking forward to seeing some photos of your bulbs in flower.

4 Feb, 2016

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