Buy Amaryllis Bulbs Now, Get Blooms Every Winter

by Suzanne DeJohn

Getting your Amaryllis to produce a second round of blooms is easy. You can also keep your bulbs and get them to flower all over again indoors or out.

Amaryllis reblooms every winter
 

The bulbs you buy in the fall and winter are rarin' to go, so plant them right away and they'll quickly begin growing. Depending on the variety, the stage of bulb dormancy and the growing environment, you may get flowers in as little as four weeks, or it may take as long as 10 weeks.

For planting instructions and tips for enjoying your amaryllis, see How to Plant Amaryllis Bulbs.

Caring for Your Amaryllis Post-Bloom

It isn't difficult to get your your amaryllis to rebloom next winter, but there are specific steps you'll need to take.

  • Once the blooms fade, cut the flower stalk back to within an inch or so of the bulb, taking care not to damage any emerging leaves or flower stalks. (Our amaryllis bulbs usually produce two or even three flower stalks!) Post-bloom, the goal is to keep the plant growing strong so the foliage can recharge the bulb for next winter's bloom.
  • Keep the plant indoors in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist. If its pot doesn't have drainage holes, transplant it into a pot that does, and be sure to drain the saucer after watering. Fertilize monthly with a soluble houseplant fertilizer and let the plant continue growing.
  • Once the weather warms up in spring and all chance of frost is past, set the amaryllis plant outdoors. Acclimate it by placing the pot in a part-sun location for several weeks, then gradually move it to a full-sun location. Water as needed to keep the soil moist. (If the bulb is in a small pot and dries out too quickly, pot it up into a larger container.) Fertilize monthly and let the foliage continue to grow all summer.

Amaryllis Rosy Star

Amaryllis Minerva

Letting Your Amaryllis Bulb Rest

If you're hoping to have your amaryllis in full flower around holiday time, you need to plan ahead because amaryllis bulbs need a rest period before they’ll bloom again.

Around mid August, begin withholding water and fertilizer and move the pot into a cool room (55 to 60 degrees F. is ideal, but no colder than 50 degrees). The leaves will begin to yellow, then wither and die back; at this point you can cut them back to within about a half-inch of the top of the bulb. Let the pot stay in this cool, dry storage for about two months. Check the bulb occasionally, looking for any signs of new growth.

Trimmed Amaryllis bulb

Cut your Amaryllis back to encourage new growth, and a new bloom.

After ten weeks or when you see a shoot emerging (whichever comes first), it's time to bring the pot back into the warmth and light. For best results, repot the bulb in a container that's about twice the diameter of the bulb, using fresh, moist potting soil. Set the bulb in the pot so that the top third of the bulb is above the soil line.

Keep the pot in a sunny window. Water the soil thoroughly, then let the soil surface dry out before watering again. Keep the plant in a sunny window, rotating the pot occasionally to keep the flower stalk growing straight (otherwise it will lean toward the light). In a few weeks you'll have a reblooming amaryllis!

You can repeat this process indefinitely, and provided you give it the required conditions the bulb should continue producing flowers each year.

Amaryllis are tropical (native to South America); you can grow them outdoors year-round in frost-free zones.

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