We are getting the nursery into the Holiday Season Spirit (a.k.a. Christmas) with lots of great decorating ideas and materials. It is time to pot some Amaryllis bulbs if you want them to bloom for late December. Or, you can buy pre-grown ones that are already showing a blooming stalk or two. These eliminate the guesswork and timing, but are somehow less exciting to watch grow and bloom.
I like to put two or three pots or bulbs together in one larger container for a real ‘Wow’ effect. The huge flowers can be heavy and cause stems to fall over. Tie a nice ribbon or some raffia around the clump to prevent this from ruining your display. Most people can’t be bothered saving Amaryllis from year to year. But, if you want to, they can be rebloomed every year by following these tips:
Let your Amaryllis flower all its stalks. Larger bulbs produce three stalks, so they are worth a bit more $$.
Allow your plant to produce its large strappy leaves. These are the ‘food factories’ for the bulb, and you must fertilize during this active growth period. The bulb is depleted and exhausted from its fabulous flower display it just produced for you. Use any plant food you want to (20-20-20 is great), dissolved in the water you give to your Amaryllis, every other week.
Grow indoors in a warm, bright window all winter. In late Spring, place the unattractive scraggly plant outside in the sun. Leave it in its pot. The warmth and heat of the summer sun with allow it go dormant (all the leaves turn yellow). Let it dry . Nature will do everything else.
In September/October , clean it up. Remove old dry foliage and look for slugs etc. You might repot but you don’t have to. If you fertilized faithfully, your bulb will be chubby and ready to flower again indoors that winter . And, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done !