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Amaryllis is a flowering bulb that is seen everywhere at Christmastime. The bulbs are native to Africa and accustomed to warm climates. In the United States, they can be hardy and planted outdoors in zones 8 to 10. In cooler climates, like my zone 5 in Iowa, they’re planted in containers and kept indoors to enjoy their tall, showy bloom.
Unlike other bulbs, an amaryllis bulb is planted slightly differently to ensure they have the best growth conditions.
Things to remember before planting amaryllis bulbs
- Amaryllis can be planted alone as a single bulb or grouped together for a larger impact.
- The containers need to have drainage holes. If there are no drainage holes, the long roots of the amaryllis could sit in water and rot.
- Choose a container that is close to the size of the bulb and approximately one inch larger.
- Always check the bulbs and inspect them to make sure there are no soft spots or rotten areas. The bulb should be firm with some roots intact on the bottom.
Prepare the container for planting
A heavier container will be the best for planting these amaryllis bulbs. As the flower grows, it can become quite top-heavy, so a sturdy base will keep the entire container from toppling over. Also, as the flower grows, a stake may be necessary. The stem of an amaryllis is quite strong but does usually need some help.
Line the container with plastic. This step is optional, but it keeps a container free of moisture and soil.
I’m using an antique galvanized dry measure container that I want to keep clean so plastic is necessary.
Plant the amaryllis bulbs
Begin by placing good-quality potting soil in one-third of the container.
Set the bulb(s) on top of the soil with the roots pointing down into the soil.
Add soil around the bulb and roots, pressing around evenly to push out any air pockets. Leave one-third to one-half of the bulb exposed on top of the soil.
For aesthetics, moss or pea gravel can be placed over the soil.
Water the bulb well after planting. Do not water the bulb again until the flower stems emerge and begin to grow. Until the stems emerge, the roots are not growing and active.
What happens after the amaryllis blooms?
After the amaryllis has bloomed and the leaves have grown, it can be kept from year to year. Simply keep it in a sunny place and water as a houseplant. As the weather permits with nighttime temperatures above 50 degrees F, set the plant outside in the sun. Keep watered and in the sun until August. In August, cut off the leaves and place the bulb in a dark closet. In November, treat it as a new amaryllis bulb and hope for a bloom!
Just received my Amaryllis bulbs. Thank you for this video. The planting guide sent by Breck’s has planting instructions on everything but the Amaryllis. I’m using my Wakefield pot to plant them in (thanks to you linking their company). Wish me Luck!
I watch you all the time and have made several of your recipes and love each and everyone that I have tried. You have also made me able to keep a small potted garden of fresh herbs. Thank you so much for the tips and tricks. Can you do a piece on repotting Boston Ferns please. I have 4 of them and they are huge and in pots. I know they need to be repotted and maybe turned into smaller portions. However, I am terrified I will kill them. Any tips to offer would be most welcome.
Thanks and warmest wishes. Love every update from you.
I am going to try one next year for sure!
Thanks for sharing! Love the Wakefield pottery!
Thanks for the instructions. I had a successful year with Amaryllis. Two pots are still blooming.
I will follow your instructions for saving them – cut off stems, bring them outside, fertilize them, bring them inside in the dark in August, bring them back out in November for reblooming. Questions:
1) When do I fertilize them ? All summer or after bringing them back out of the dark in November? Do I use the bloom booster in summer or after bringing them out in November?
2) Should I remove them from soil before putting in the dark in August? Or do they need the soil to prevent them from drying up? A paper bag will save room since I don’t have a basement.
Thanks, I learn so much from your timely videos and make many of your recipes!
I acquired a cast iron urn today and remembered the video you made of it being welded inside to accommodate a Christmas tree. Can you possibly share that with me?