Amaryllis Post Care Instructions
How to Make Amaryllis Bulbs Rebloom
When you invest in great quality amaryllis bulbs, you'll enjoy many seasons of bloom from them. When planted outdoors in zones 8b and higher, amaryllis naturally bloom in the spring. If you want to try your hand at getting them to rebloom around the holidays, you'll have to take a bit more care, but it isn't difficult. We'll show you how.
In general, let your amaryllis bulb be your guide for post-bloom care. As long as the bulb has green, growing foliage, continue to provide it with light, water, and periodic feeding of plant food. Producing those big blooms takes a lot of energy!
You might want to take your amaryllis outdoors for some sunshine spring through fall – just be sure to bring it in before your first frost. If your amaryllis goes dormant (they don’t always, and this is no concern at all) simply withhold water and let the soil dry. When you see new growth emerge, resume watering. See? Super simple – and so sweet when new blooms form.
If you find it easier to follow a step by step guide to care for plants, here are your extended instructions for making amaryllis rebloom.
How to Care for Amaryllis After they Finish Blooming
Don't toss your amaryllis bulbs after they finish blooming! You can keep them as houseplants and then coax them into bloom during the next holiday season. Here's what to do when the flowers fade:
- Snip off the flower stems about 1/2" from the bulb. Don't cut off the leaves. (Put a hand under the cut ends of the stems as you carry them to the trash because they contain a surprising amount of juice that will drip on your floors.) If the bulbs are big, most will develop second, or even third, flower stalks. Just snip the blossom stalks off as the blooms fade and savor all the flowers your bulbs produce. After the last bloom stalk has been clipped off your amaryllis will still be attractive, with strappy, dark green leaves.
- Place your plants on sunny windowsills so the leaves can gather light, photosynthesize, and provide nourishment to the bulbs. At this point, the bulbs will be making sugars to store so they can bloom again.
- Keep watering your plants so the soil says lightly moist, but never soggy.
- Move plants outdoors for a summer vacation. Choose a sunny location move them outside when night temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees. If the containers have drainage holes, you can leave the bulbs in their pots and nestle them somewhere in the middle to back of the garden where they can blend in. If there are no drainage holes, the pots will fill with water when it rains and the bulbs will rot. To avoid this, simply remove the amaryllis and replant them in the garden at the same depth (shoulders exposed) that they were in their pots.
- Give them a little fertilizer after moving them inside.
How to Make Amaryllis Rebloom at Christmas
- In early to mid autumn, before the first frost, bring your amaryllis bulbs back inside and cut off all the foliage about 1"-2" from the top of the bulbs. Place the bulbs in a dry, dark place. Basements are good choices, and even the back of a closet will work.
- At this point you are forcing your bulbs to take a rest and slip into a few weeks of dormancy before starting a new flowering cycle. During this period, completely stop watering.
- Let your amaryllis "sleep" for ten to twelve weeks. (So make sure that you bring them in to "sleep" so you'll have plenty of time to get them to start growing and blooming for the holidays.)
- Then, start the growing cycle over just as you did when your first planted the bulbs. Replace the soil with fresh mix, remove any dead leaves and old, peeling bulb sheaths (these look like the dried, outer skins on an onion), and replant, again leaving the bulb shoulders exposed.
- Place your bulbs in bright light and give them one good drink of water. The combination of light and water will "wake up" the plants and encourage them to start growing again. When the first little leaves appear, and not before, begin watering regularly. (If you give a steady supply if water to a bulb with no foliage, the bulb will rot.)
With good care most amaryllis bulbs will bloom seasonally for years. Some cultivars even develop offspring bulbs along side the mother bulbs and these youngsters eventually grow large enough to bloom, too.
- Katie Elzer-Peters