How to Grow and Rebloom Amaryllis
Table of Contents
- Written by Holly Hughes on July 16, 2022
Often considered one of the best Christmas bulb flowers, amaryllis isn’t just one of the easiest plants to grow indoors, it packs a visual punch of sensationally-colored flowers that are long-lasting and the perfect antidote to winter blues.
In this guide, find everything you need to know about how to grow amaryllis bulbs as well as tips for regrowing this stunning perennial. Or, if already convinced but lacking a green thumb, treat yourself to an arrangement adorned with amaryllis’s beautiful striped and vibrant flowers from SendFlowersor FromYouFlowers.
What are amaryllis’ growing zones?
Native to tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas, amaryllis can be grown in USDA zones 7b to 11. For colder zones, like zone 8, it’s necessary to ensure you either plant cold-tolerant amaryllis varieties or use protection to keep the roots warm through cold snaps.
In zones 9-11, amaryllis plants can survive year-round in the ground.
Related Post: Cold Weather Flowers
How long do amaryllis bulbs last?
Like any great relationship, if amaryllis bulbs are tended to and cared for properly, these resilient plants can survive and thrive for decades! Though the average span of an amaryllis bulb is estimated to be roughly 25 years, there are many gardeners who report having ones that have lasted 50 and even 75 years!
So, show amaryllis some love and in return it will bless you with decades of gorgeous red, salmon, and yellow flowers! This is why a gift of an amaryllis bulb can be such a touching gift for a loved one, signifying the lasting bond and commitment between two people.
How to plant amaryllis bulbs in pots
To prepare your amaryllis bulbs, some experts suggest submerging them in tepid water for several hours beforehand to replenish their roots and give them a headstart on growing.
While they are soaking, get your pot ready by filling it with potting mix or compost. When choosing your pot, bear in mind that amaryllis prefers to be snug in its container so don’t choose one that’s too big. Heavier pots are a wise choice to hold the weight of the flowers big and boisterous blooms.
In terms of soil, it’s crucial to have rich, well-draining soil. Achieve richness by using compost or potting mix and, if it’s struggling with drainage, mix it with sand, grit or something similar to prevent it becoming waterlogged.
Place your bulb in the soil with its pointed end facing skywards and pack your remaining soil around it. You want to keep about a third of the bulb above the soil.
Then put your pot in a spot that gets lots of bright (but indirect) light, turning it every once in a while to encourage straight growth.
Water regularly once you begin to see shoots emerging and, in six to eight weeks, you should have gorgeous amaryllis blooms putting on a dramatic and colorful show!
Related Post: How to Get Orchids to Rebloom
Of course, if all of this feels like too much trouble, savvy plant growers can always choose a waterless amaryllis plant instead. This is an amaryllis bulb encased in wax that contains all of the water and nutrients the flowers need to thrive. It’s an all-in-one, free standing spectacle!
How to regrow amaryllis
Once their flowers start to fade, you can regrow amaryllis with a few simple steps. Here’s how to save amaryllis bulbs for next year.
Once individual blooms begin to wilt, cut them back. When a flower stalk has lost all its flowers, you can cut this back too, leaving just a few inches on the bulb.
Keep watering and feeding the plant to encourage the foliage to grow (this will give your amaryllis enough energy to regrow). Once the foliage begins to die back, stop watering until the pot dries out completely and cut the leaves back.
Dig up and clean your bulbs before storing them away for at least eight weeks. You can replant following the same steps as above (you might need a slightly bigger container as the bulbs tend to enlarge with each growing season) six to eight weeks before you wish to have blooms.
How to store amaryllis bulbs after flowering
Once you’ve dug up your bulbs, you can store them anywhere that is dark, cool, and dry. It’s important to make sure you allow them to rest in this space for a minimum of six weeks.
You can even keep them in your refrigerator’s crisper! Just make sure there aren’t any apples in your fridge as these will sterilize your amaryllis bulbs.
Did you know your refrigerator plays an important role in plant care? Readhow your fridge can help your cut flower bouquet fromEnjoyFlowers last longer orhow its heat can help a stunning houseplant fromPlants.com survive winter for tips!
Still got questions? We’ve got the answers! Keep reading for answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about amaryllis bulbs:
When to cut back amaryllis leaves
To encourage regrowth, cut back amaryllis leaves only when they begin to die off and yellow. This is usually in early fall when the bulbs begin to go into dormancy. Cut leaves back to about two inches from the top of the bulb for best results.
When to dig up amaryllis bulbs
Once you’ve cut back your plant’s leaves, you can then dig up the bulbs when the weather gets colder in the fall. This is usually in October to November. However, you can also figure out the best time to dig up bulbs by doing some simple math.
Amaryllis bulbs need roughly eight weeks of dormancy and then an additional six to eight weeks to bloom. Add up these weeks and count backwards from the bloom time to know when to dig up your bulbs.
When to plant amaryllis bulbs
If planting in a pot, you can plant amaryllis bulbs whenever you want. Simply count back from your desired bloom time to figure out when to plant these bulbs. For example, if you want your flowers to bloom at Christmas, you should plant your bulbs in September (mid to late is best).
When to put amaryllis in the dark
Amaryllis should be put in the dark during their rest phase for approximately eight weeks. Once its leaves have died back, stop watering and then dig up the bulbs or put the pot in a cool, dry, and dark place.
When to transplant amaryllis
Amaryllis bulbs get bigger year-on-year so once your bulb outgrows its pot, you should transplant it. You can even transplant your bulbs every year, digging up the bulbs and storing them away before replanting in a new container during the next season.
If growing outdoors, transplant amaryllis when the plants are becoming overcrowded as this will negatively impact their growth and deliver less impressive blooms
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