When Will My Amaryllis Bloom?
You plant your big amaryllis bulb in anticipation of huge blooms just in time for the holidays.
The question is: when will your amaryllis bloom? Right before Thanksgiving? In time for Christmas dinner? Three weeks into January when you're still vacuuming up stray needles from the tree? March? What are the expected amaryllis flowering times?
The answer is twofold and depends on the answers to these questions:
1) What type of amaryllis are you growing?
2) Where are you growing it? (Indoors or outdoors)
It's helpful to keep the answers to these questions in mind while shopping for amaryllis bulbs, as well, to make sure you get one that's the right fit for you!
Types of Amaryllis Bulbs
There are two main types of amaryllis bulbs:
- Exotic (cybister) amaryllis
- Traditional holiday amaryllis
The exotics have a much different bloom time than the holiday amaryllis if you buy them in the fall. Here's the difference between exotic amaryllis and holiday amaryllis (sometimes called heated amaryllis).
Exotic amaryllis (cybister amaryllis) have absolutely gorgeous, almost butterfly-like, elegant blooms.
When you buy a fresh exotic amaryllis bulb and plant it, you can usually expect it to bloom for you for the first time within 10-12 weeks of planting.
We say "usually" because these plants do have a bit of a mind of their own.
The good thing about the exotic amaryllis types is that, once they start growing, they make excellent houseplants and are extremely easy-care. You don't have to force them into a dormant period to get them to rebloom. That said, they will rebloom on their own time frame. Oh, but they're worth the wait and it's always a nice surprise to see the flowers.
Christmas amaryllis, sometimes called "heated amaryllis" or holiday amaryllis, have the big flowers with rounded petals and over-the-top blooms. These amaryllis have been grown, harvested, and forced into dormancy so that you can plant them in the fall and enjoy big flowers for the holidays.
These amaryllis are the most reliable for providing 2 bloom stalks per bulbs and will usually flower sometime within 35-60 days after planting in the fall.
You can get these bulbs to rebloom for the holidays the following year. Here are instructions about how to do that.
The Fastest Amaryllis to Bloom
Our estimates for blooming times are just that, best estimates. They are based on our own growing trials, feedback from our network of specialty growers and conventional wisdom for individual varieties. Growing conditions, including light, temperature, moisture, wind, and so forth, impact results, as do slight variations in growing stock from year to year.
Some plants are more predictable and cooperative with grower schedules than others. Many types of tulips, for example, and what you know as "Easter Lilies" can be grown to flower within a specific time frame using exact temperature, light, and watering schedules. That doesn't happen in the home, another reason why our estimates are estimates and not ironclad timeframes.
Caveats aside, these are the fastest blooming amaryllis varieties to plant in the fall for holiday blooms, in our experience:
If amaryllis flowers are a must for your holiday centerpieces, those are good varieties to start with. Even those can decide to bloom earlier or later, though. (The more bulbs you plant the more likely you are to end up with blooms when you want them, and a longer period of blooms to enjoy.)
Whenever they bloom, amaryllis are some of the most beautiful indoor flowers you can grow, so the extra care is worth it!
Ready to find your perfect match? Shop all Amaryllis >
When do Amaryllis Bloom Outside?
You might remember that one of the questions related to "when will my amaryllis bloom?" is where the amaryllis is growing— inside or outside. In zones 8 and warmer, most amaryllis are hardy outside. If you let the traditional holiday amaryllis bulbs you planted in the fall bloom for the holidays and then plant those bulbs outside in the spring, if you leave the bulbs outside, they'll bloom again the following spring. That's their natural bloom time.
The exotic amaryllis are better as houseplants and will rebloom on and off as they please!
- Tags: Q & A
- Katie Elzer-Peters