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How Do I Keep My Amaryllis Bulb For Next Year?

How Do I Keep My Amaryllis Bulb For Next Year?

Many of our customers who enjoyed the large, lovely amaryllis flowers their bulb produced this winter are now wondering how to keep the plant so that they can bring it into flower again next year. Here are directions for making sure your bulbs live and store up the energy that will be needed for future flowering.

  1. Keep your plant in a sunny window now. If your bulb was in a plastic pot it’s time to plant it in a clay container with some fresh potting soil. Mix in a combination of a time-released fertilizer such as Osmocote, and an equal amount of an organic granular product such as Plant-tone. Two teaspoons of each for one bulb in an average 8 or 10 inch pot will be perfect.
  2. When ever you repot amaryllis bulbs you want the top third to half of the bulb above the soil. This helps prevent the bulb from staying too damp and rotting.
  3. Cut off the old flower stems once they start to yellow but let the bulb produce leaves. These might grow long, but that’s just fine. Water the plant about once a week, draining any excess water from the saucer below the pot.
  4. In mid to late May, when the nighttime temperatures are reliably above 50 degrees, put the plant outside in a location where it will get a half-day of sun. Water the plants when the soil is dry – in hot weather this might be every other day, but in cooler temperatures or cloudy periods it might be every few days. Don’t let them go dormant in the summer, however…the leaves are producing energy all summer that gets stored in the bulbs, and this will ensure that the plants have the strength to flower in the coming winter.
  5. In late September, before hard frost, move the pots inside to a cool location. It should be somewhere that the temperatures don’t go below 40 degrees. Stop watering and let the leaves die back over two or three weeks. Once the leaves are brown they can be cut off.
  6. Let the bulbs stay in that cool location for at least 6 weeks. Anytime after that period the pots can be brought into the house and watered well. Place the dormant bulb in a warm, sunny window and wait for the magic to begin again!

    After these flowers fade the bulbs will produce more leaves. They should be kept in a sunny window until they can go outside in May.

    When amaryllis bulbs outgrow their pots, or if they came in a plastic container, transplant them into a clay pot with unblocked drainage holes.

    In the fall move pots of dormant bulbs into a cool place such as this attached but unheated garage. Don’t let the bulbs freeze and don’t water the soil during this resting period.

    Given this treatment your amaryllis bulbs can not only last from year to year, but they are likely to produce new bulbs that can either be left attached to the mother bulb or transplanted and grown on into large bulbs on their own.  Come into the store for some good quality potting soil, fertilizer, and an assortment of pots that are perfect for these beautiful bulbs.

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