Top 10 Questions About Amaryllis Plants

By Mary Ellen Ellis | September 9, 2018
Image by 1255k
by Mary Ellen Ellis
September 9, 2018

Here at Gardening Know How we get lots of questions, and our goal is to provide answers to those inquiries to the best of our knowledge. A popular plant with many people is the amaryllis. While it’s often grown indoors, planting amaryllis in the garden is also an option for gardeners residing in warmer climates. Below are the 10 most commonly asked questions about amaryllis plants, both indoors and out.

1. Can I plant my amaryllis outdoors after it has bloomed?

Amaryllis should be kept in a pot and brought back in for the winter in most climates; it is not very hardy. Another reason to keep it in a pot is that amaryllis produces more blooms when it is crowded. That said, in zones above USDA 7b, it is possible to plant them in the garden. To enjoy amaryllis outside in cooler regions, simply move pots outside for the summer and bring them back inside for the winter.

2. How do you care for amaryllis bulbs after blooming?

After an amaryllis blooms, you will be left with just leaves and stalks. To keep it healthy and encourage new blooms, cut off the tops of the stalks but keep the leaves in place. Fertilize your plant every couple of weeks, as it has become depleted of nutrients after producing the flowers. Water a couple times a week, and otherwise leave it alone.

3. Why don’t I have any flowers on my amaryllis bulbs?

After blooming, amaryllis plants go through a growth phase. It stores energy for the next blooming, but if conditions aren’t right it may not produce flowers. Cut off the faded flowers so seeds don’t form. Remove the stalks once they have yellowed. Give it a sunny spot, regular fertilizer to replenish lost nutrients, and water it adequately, and you should get blooms again.

4. When should I start my amaryllis bulb for Christmas blooms?

Timing the reblooming of an amaryllis can be tricky. For Christmas blooms, bring the plant inside about mid-August. Leave it in a cool spot and stop watering it. Keep it in a dark spot after the leaves die and wait until a new flower stalk emerges. Once you see the new stalk, move the plant to a warmer and sunny spot and begin watering and fertilizing.

5. How to you grow amaryllis in water?

You can grow an amaryllis bulb in water for one growing season, but after that it should be planted in soil or thrown away. Start with a vase or glass jar that is slightly wider than the bulb. Use enough water so that when the bulb is placed in the jar, only the roots and the base of the bulb are in the water. Keep the bulb in a sunny, warm spot and add water as needed to maintain the level. Completely change the water once a week. The bulb won’t produce as well as it would in soil, but you should get a bloom.

6. How do you fertilize an amaryllis plant?

Proper amaryllis fertilizing can be key to a healthy plant and stunning blooms. To promote the production of flowers in amaryllis, use a fertilizer high in phosphorus. Bone meal is one option. Fertilizing regularly during the bulbs’ dormant period is especially important in promoting new blooms.

7. How do I pot up an amaryllis bulb?

Amaryllis is one plant that prefers to be crowded in its pot, so repotting often is not necessary. If you do need to repot, choose a container that drains and size it so that the diameter of the pot is about one inch (2.5 cm.) wider than the bulb. Fill the pot halfway with soil that has a lot of organic matter. Place the bulb with the roots down in the soil and add more, pressing it down until just one-third of the bulb remains above the level of the soil.

8. Can you divide an amaryllis plants?

Amaryllis bulbs actually prefer to be crowded, but if you want to divide a plant you can do so, just do it gently. Simply dig out the clump of bulbs, get all the way under it, and gently remove one or more bulbs. Be careful not to damage or trim the leaves, which are needed for proper growth. Provide some shade for replanted bulbs as they become situated in a new spot.

9. Can you force amaryllis bulbs indoors?

Amaryllis and other bulbs, like daffodils and hyacinth, can be easily forced indoors. A popular choice is to use a glass jar or vase. Use one that is just a little bit wider than the bulb and fill the bottom with decorative stones or gravel. Add enough water to submerge the roots and the base of the bulb. Likewise, you can opt to force amaryllis bulbs in soil. Keep the bulb in a sunny, warm window, and wait for a bloom.

10. How to I keep my amaryllis flower from falling over?

Amaryllis is stunning but can become top heavy. Toppling over is a real problem for potted bulbs like this, especially since they prefer to be crowded in small pots. An easy solution is to place the smaller pot inside a larger one that will support it. You can also use a decorative box or a box wrapped in pretty paper to hold and support the amaryllis in its small pot. Additionally, there are plant supports available for staking amaryllis plants or you can make your own.

We all have questions now and then, whether long-time gardeners or those just starting out. So if you have a gardening question, get a gardening answer. We’re always here to help.

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  • Gulhar
    Comment added June 25, 2020Reply

    Usually Women Like Aloe Vera Because They Can Get anything Inside Without any Pain,specially through Back side.

  • Bobbi Rivera Sherman
    Comment added March 24, 2020Reply

    I bought the ones in a wax ball .it bloomed after that it had just 2 little leaves I took some rubber like ballon off the bulb & planted it in dirt . It hates water leaves turn I just have one long long leaf I don't know what to do plus I still have one but that still has the rubber around the body I don't know if I should take it off the top is all dry and crusty please help me

  • Phyllis Powell
    Comment added June 17, 2019Reply

    I have an amaryllis outside but it never blooms- too much shade I think. I didn't;t even know it was planted there.At one time it was in a pot and was dieting and hubs planted it outside again. I want to dig it up and put it in a pot- It needs more sun I think- It just has two small leaves. When can i dig it up ? I live near Austin, Texas. Need advise for how to care for it so it will bloom again. My late FIL planted this flower over 30 years ago and I would love to keep it blooming.

  • Paul Blasko
    Comment added May 11, 2019Reply

    I am growing amaryllis from seed. Seeds planted Feb 2018 have been growing continuously indoors (summers outdoors) and bulbs are now marble-sized to ping pong ball-sized. I plan to put them outside again soon in the large window box-like container they have been growing in indoors. It has drainage. My question: Shall I continue (after this summer) to grow them indoors (winter) and outdoors (summer) continuously or should I let them die in the fall, rest the bulbs, and replant them in late winter to be placed outside again in the spring. I live in upstate NY. I know it will take several years, but its worth a good try.

  • Anne Fitch
    Comment added March 31, 2019Reply

    This year my Amyrilis bloomed in its dark place the 2 blooms were beautiful but had no leaves. What happened?

  • kimberly hunt
    Comment added March 18, 2019Reply

    I do not understand where I should cut the plant after it has bloomed in doors as I want it to bloom again? Can you send me a picture of where I should cut!

  • Sybil Francoeur
    Comment added March 12, 2019Reply

    I bought an amyrilis bulb on sale was starting to grow but now has a white sticky substance on it can this be saved or will i throw out

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