How to Grow Gorgeous Amaryllis
There’s nothing quite so spectacular as blooming amaryllis bulbs, especially around the holidays! The strong green stalks topped with brilliantly colored, oversized flowers are a sight to behold and bring much-needed cheer to interiors during the darker days of winter.
So, if you’ve ordered your bulbs and are eagerly awaiting their arrival (and we can hardly blame you), here’s what you need to know to get them planted, keep them happy, and even to encourage reblooming for next year!
What to do when you receive your Amaryllis
Take your amaryllis bulb out of its packaging, and plant as soon as possible. Don’t worry if you need to wait a few days — what you want to avoid is having your amaryllis bulbs hanging out, out of its preferred temperature and humidity requirements, for several weeks. Doing so leads to drying and shrinking of the bulb, which can then lead to the bulb not growing and flowering well.
3 Steps to Planting Amaryllis Flower Bulbs
Whether planting outside in the ground or in a container, the actual planting directions are similar. For either planting method, and choose a sunny location or one with bright light such as an indoor window sill.
- Dig a hole in the soil to a depth that is less than the height of the amaryllis bulb. Put the bulb into the soil with the pointy end up.
- Cover with soil, leaving the top ¼ of the bulb exposed. Do not fully bury the bulb in the soil.
- Water a bit to just settle the soil around the bulb, then refrain from watering until you see growth — and after that, aim to keep the soil slightly moist and never soggy.
Care After Your Amaryllis Blooms
If you’ve planted your amaryllis bulbs indoors or in containers, then when the plant is finished blooming, you can safely plant it outside in the spring if you live in a very mild area like USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10. Be aware that an amaryllis bulb planted outside after blooming indoors may skip a flowering season, but don’t let that worry you — it’s perfectly normal and will catch up to its regular blooming schedule after a year or so.
What to Do If Your Amaryllis Bulb Isn’t Sprouting
First, stay positive! Knowing what amaryllis variety you have is important because some sprout very quickly (10-14 days) while others (like Papilio) take up to 6 months to bloom after developing foliage. (The bloom time is noted on the product pages of our website.)
Ensure your amaryllis bulbs are getting just enough water to barely keep the soil moist, and that they have adequate light, and they are bound to bloom in time.
How to Get Amaryllis to Rebloom
Although there are a few steps to getting your amaryllis bulbs to rebloom, they are very easy:
- Remove the spent flowers to keep the plant from going to seed, then when the stalk turns yellow and weak, snip that off, too, about 1” above the bulb. Don’t remove any green leaves; the bulb needs them for energy.
- Throughout the winter and spring, continue to give your amaryllis bulb adequate light and just enough water to keep the soil moist without being soggy.
- As the weather warms, move your amaryllis in its pot outdoors, and nestle it into the soil in a spot that gets morning sunlight. Keep the soil moist and add in a water-soluable houseplant fertilizer every two weeks or so — now you’re replenishing the bulb’s energy to rebloom.
- As the weather cools, bring the pot inside and trim off any yellowing leaves and easing up on watering.
- Store your bulbs in a cool, dark place (your basement is perfect) for about 6-8 weeks, and don’t water at all. Not one bit!
- Remove your pot and place it in a light and warm spot in your house, and give it a good watering. Then, just let it rest until the new sprouting begins!
And that’s it! Amaryllis bulbs are truly some of the easiest bulbs to grow — as long as you allow them their dormancy period, plant them correctly, give them bright light, and just enough moisture at the right time, you’re good to go. If you'd like a little more information, refer to our handy amaryllis bulb planting guide — and happy bulb gardening!
Psssst…searching for some more unusual amaryllis bulbs? We love Nymph with its salmon-tinged white petals, and Dancing Queen for its flirty and frilly red-and-white striping.
- Katie Elzer-Peters