How to Plant Amaryllis Bulbs

by Suzanne DeJohn

Everyone loves amaryllis, and if you've grown them, you know how quickly and beautifully they bloom, almost like magic. Best of all, growing them takes no gardening experience, and that's why they're so popular in Gift Kits for the holidays. If you've never tried, follow along and learn how to plant amaryllis bulbs the easy way! Even if you've never planted a seed or grown a bulb, you can be an amaryllis expert in minutes. Simply plant your bulb and add water. It's really that simple.

Choose a Pot

If your amaryllis bulb didn't come in a kit with soil and pot, you'll need to find a proper pot. Amaryllis bulbs are the size of a very large onion (or larger), but they like to be somewhat crowded in their pots. Choose a pot that allows about one inch all around and about two inches below your bulb. Be sure it has drainage holes so excess water can drain, and add saucer to catch the runoff.

Plant the Bulb

Place one to two inches of moist potting soil in the bottom of the pot. Set the bulb in the pot pointy end up, roots down. The "shoulders" of the bulb should stick up out of the soil (see illustration above) so adjust the amount of soil if necessary. Fill in around the bulb with potting soil, firming it gently. Water just enough to fully moisten and settle the soil.

Flowering amaryllis

Caring for Your Amaryllis

drawing of bulb on windowsildrawing of bulb on windowsil

 

Place the pot in a warm spot. It doesn't have to be sunny -- on the top of your refrigerator or near a heater is fine.


shower head shower head

 

Water lightly to keep the soil slightly moist but not wet.


pot on windowsil sproutingpot on windowsil sprouting

 

Once the new shoot emerges, place the pot in a sunny window.


shower head shower head

 

Water your amaryllis as needed to keep the soil moist. Now that the pot's in the sun and the plant is growing, you'll need to water more often than you did before. Be sure to empty the saucer to remove excess water. Turn the pot regularly to make the stalk grow straight; otherwise, it will bend and grow towards the light.


amaryllis bloomingamaryllis blooming

 

Once the plant begins blooming, display it proudly! Did you know you can keep your amaryllis all year and coax it back into bloom next holiday season? For more more information, read Foolproof Amaryllis, Indoors and Out.


Amaryllis Outdoors (Zones 9 - 11)

Since these bulbs are tropical (native to South America), they can be grown beautifully outdoors in very warm and frost-free zones. This means from southern Georgia down through Florida, south Texas, and much of the Pacific coast. Planting time in these areas is usually September or October, and if the bed is well-cared for, the bulbs will stay in the ground and flower for years.

 
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    Gift-Boxed Kit with lush 'Red Lion' Amaryllis. This kit includes pot, no-fuss growing medium, one bulb and instructions. Amaryllis kits are easy to grow and make the perfect gift fo...

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    Gift-Boxed Kit with lush 'Red Lion' Amaryllis. This kit includes pot, no-fuss growing medium, one bulb and instructions. Amaryllis kits are easy to grow and make the perfect gift for friends, family, officemates, or even the entire company. Corporate pricing available.
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    Papilio Amaryllis is an exotic bloom boasting large flowers with sophisticated coloring. Pale green pointed petals are contrasted by deep red outlines and veining to create a striking pattern on each petal. Each premium kit includes a white textured ceramic pot, soil, and bulb wrapped with a satin bow, for a stylish gift to brighten winter days. (Hippeastrum)
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    Gift-boxed Kit with charming pink and white bi-color 'Apple Blossom' Amaryllis. This kit includes pot, no-mess soil medium, 'Apple Blossom' Amaryllis bulb and detailed growing instructions. Perfect for gifting, or enjoying spring-fresh blooms in your own home this winter. (Hippeastrum)
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    'Athene' Amaryllis produces enormous, gently-ruffled white blooms on sturdy stalks that open to reveal lime green centers. Paired with a lightweight terra cotta colored pot, growing medium and detailed growing instructions, Athene becomes a complete gift kit perfect for brightening someone’s winter. Easy to grow.
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    With unique ribbons of pink and red gracing each petal, the Gervase Amaryllis blooms in alluring patterns. Their candy cane coloring, accented with deep green foliage, makes this the perfect choice for winter decor and holiday gifting. This premium kit includes a festive gold ceramic bowl, soil, and bulb wrapped with a satin bow. The Gervase Amaryllis Kit is sure to delight! (Hippeastrum)
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    ‘Cherry Nymph’ Amaryllis will make you swoon with stunning red color and layer upon layer of rounded velvety petals. Flecks of white accent the fully double blooms. Sleek foliage and sturdy stems complete this picture-perfect amaryllis. Premium kits include a bulb, soil, and a festive gold ceramic bowl. This easy-to-grow Amaryllis makes an elegant gift and unforgettable showpiece. (Hippeastrum hybrid)
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