Tips for Growing Amaryllis
By Tammie Jo
, last updated February 4, 2011
Growing your own beautiful amaryllis is easy with these tips. An amaryllis produces a show-stopping flower that is usually grown indoors. It is a tropical plant, originating in South America and is classified as a tender bulb. Because of its striking red blossoms, amaryllis is typically used to adorn a dining or occasional table during the winter holidays. Look for amaryllis bulbs to show up in nurseries and flower centers in the fall. They often come pre-planted in an attractive pot; all you have to do is water.
Whether growing an amaryllis indoors or out, choose healthy bulbs that are firm and do not smell musty. Look for bulbs that are about 3 inches in diameter or larger, since smaller bulbs may not flower the first year.
Tips for Indoor Growing
- Make sure the container has a drainage hole and is approximately 2 inches wider than the bulb.
- Use a planting mix that is one part perlite and one part peat. When planting, leave about one third of the bulb above the planting medium.
- Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, but not saturated. Overwatering can cause the bulb to rot.
- Set the planted bulb in a warm area while it roots, approximately 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Move it to a cooler room when it begins to bloom, around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures will extend the life of the flower.
- Remove the flower after it dies, but keep the leaves intact. Keep watering them until they yellow. The leaves provide important nutrients to the bulb and should be kept alive as long as possible.
Tips for Outdoor Growing
- Amaryllis bulbs can thrive permanently outdoors in growing zones 8, 9 and 10, according to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. In cooler climates, they must be dug up and stored indoors after the foliage dies back, and replanted each spring.
- Choose an area of the garden with soil that drains well and receives partial sun. Do not plant amaryllis outside until after the danger of frost has passed.
- Divide the bulbs every two or three years. You know it’s time to divide when the flowers become sparse and small.
Whether you plant your amaryllis indoors or out, this flower will be a great addition to your home or garden.