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Amaryllis Insider Secrets

Amaryllis Insider Secrets


Ever wonder what really goes on inside amaryllis bulbs, under those layers of brown papery skin? Well, here's your answer. (And knowing it can help you take better care of your amaryllis bulbs!)


What is a bulb?


First it helps to know what you're even looking at, as in, what is a bulb? 


A bulb is, essentially, a compressed plant stem (baby plant) surrounded by modified leaves. An onion is a bulb. You know how, if you leave onions in the fridge too long, they start sprouting? That's because they're bulbs. 


Amaryllis are also bulbs, and if you cut one open, it will look  a lot like the inside of an onion!


Here's an amaryllis that's been sliced open so the plant-to-be is visible:


Inside Amaryllis bulb


Tucked inside the bulbs are fledgling plants complete with flower stems, blossoms and foliage, all just waiting to get out. Given warmth and just a little water to wake them up, they'll sprout and grow, drawing from the nutrient layers to fuel their initial activity. This is why it's not necessary for amaryllis to have extensive roots to produce their first set of blooms. 


When you buy a bulb it basically has everything it needs inside of it in order to grow. Some bulbs have "chilling" requirements. Others need a dormant period to rest. When you buy a new amaryllis bulb in the fall, it is ready to be planted and will sprout a flower stalk (or two). 

How to Care for Amaryllis After Blooming


After your amaryllis stops blooming, you'll want to set it in a sunny windowsill so that it gets plenty of light. You'll see long, straplike leaves emerge. At that point, the Amaryllis becomes a nice, green houseplant. The leaves will photosynthesize (Who remembers that from school?) and make food to store for the next year's blooms. Keep watering the amaryllis bulb as you did when the bulb was flowering, keeping the soil about as damp as a wrung-out sponge.


If you live in a warm climate (zone 8 or higher) you can plant your amaryllis bulb outside when it is finished blooming. In cooler regions you'll want to let your amaryllis grow through the summer and then give them a rest in the late summer and early fall. 


For more information about how to get your amaryllis to re-bloom, click here.


Ready to grow your own amaryllis? 


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  • Katie Elzer-Peters
Comments 11
  • Jessika from Easy to Grow
    Jessika from Easy to Grow

    Hi Judy!
    I am sad to hear your Amaryllis have not bloomed lately. They are such beautiful flowers which is why I am sure you want to see them! I suggest a fertilizer of 0-10-10 or 5-10-10 to be used from around March to September . This should help the bulbs collect enough energy and nutrients to finally put on a much needed show for you. Hope this helps!

  • Jessika from Easy to Grow
    Jessika from Easy to Grow

    Hi Annette!
    You are welcome to dry out these seed pods and harvest the seeds from them. Success with growing Amaryllis from home can sometimes be quite tricky. Please do some extra research if you choose to harvest them. I hope you are successful!

  • Jessika from Easy to Grow
    Jessika from Easy to Grow

    Hi Alice!
    This may have been a seed pod. You can allow these to dry out and harvest the seeds, but success with this at home can be far and few in between. I suggest doing some extra research if you choose to harvest them in the future, that way you will have the greatest chance at success. I hope they perform for you!

  • Jessika from Easy to Grow
    Jessika from Easy to Grow

    Hi Diana!
    I’m sorry to hear about your Amaryllis. We do not recommend keeping any bulbs in the fridge as the moisture can make the bulbs prematurely grow, and some fruits and vegetables produce a chemical that can actually kill the bulb. In the future, please store your bulbs in a cool, dry and dark place such as the top shelf of a closet or pantry. Hope this helps!

  • Diana Mullen
    Diana Mullen

    Hi, my name is Diana and I own 1 single amaryllis bulb. I purchased it the fall of 2016, I took care if it and it bloomed a few beautiful blooms. I live in an apartment so I did the best I could! Then I trimmed it like your suppose to and wrapped it up and put it in a bottom drawer of my refrigerator( is this too cold).
    ok I got it back out this past fall (2017)and repotted and took care of it again but no blooms this time, but it did produce a few large green stalks, just wondering what went wrong! l love growing my amaryllis but it’s hard to do in an apartment with not much light or space! Can you help? Thank You!

  • aline duciaume
    aline duciaume

    Thanks for the information.

  • Alice

    After my amaryllis bloomed, a bulbous thing grew out of the top of the stem. What do I do to it?

  • Annette Stanley
    Annette Stanley

    I live in South Africa, Cape Town, and my Amarilla s have just bloomed. Had seven flowers to one stem, three stems to one bulb! Now I have very large seed pods at the top of the stems, almost like bulbs ( three heart shaped pattern pods stuck together) ? Can these be planted? What do I do with them? they were dark green, but is turning a lighter green? Please help!!

  • Judy

    Help, please. I have dozens of amaryllis planted over 10 years in NE Florida and none has ever bloomed. What do I need to do to get some flowers?

  • Lisa

    I leave my plants in the ground year round. I am located in central east Florida, so the weather stays pretty good year round. I get blooms every year at Easter and greenery the rest of the year. I am a happy gardener.

  • I think this Site is really so simple to understand and goes into every detail .....Brilliant
    I think this Site is really so simple to understand and goes into every detail .....Brilliant

    Thanks for ALL the information

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