What To Do With Amaryllis Now

What To Do With Amaryllis Now

Did you put your Amaryllis bulb outside this summer? Great! Hopefully you fertilized it regularly, or put some time-release fertilizer in the pots and watered those containers when they looked dry. Given that treatment, your Amaryllis should have grown new leaves all summer. Some may have even started new bulbs to the sides of the original one, and you might have even seen a random flower on one of the over-achievers. “But what now?” you ask.

First, leave your plants outside through September. On Cape Cod we seldom have frost until the end of October or later, so there are no worries that these will freeze. You’ll want to bring your pots into a garage or other cool location when the night temperatures are routinely falling to 45 degrees or slightly below.

If your plant has grown so that the bulbs are pressing against the sides of the pot, take this opportunity to transplant them into wider containers while it’s still convenient and comfortable to do so outside. If your bulbs have been in the same soil for three or more years, either step them up into a slightly larger pot, or just remove them from the container, wash the soil off the roots, and put the plant back into the same pot with fresh potting mix.

When repotting, take the opportunity to mix a small handful of organic fertilizer such as Plant-tone or Flower-tone into your potting mix. Always pot Amaryllis so that the top half to two-thirds of the bulb is above the soil line. This helps prevent bulb rot. Water your amaryllis after you re-pot or refresh the soil.

Once the temperatures are falling to 45 at night, bring your pots into a cool garage or enclosed porch. Cool temperatures are what’s needed. Leave the green foliage on, but don’t water the pots once they’re indoors. The leaves will turn brown and dry up over a two week period. Once they are dried you can clip them off.

Amaryllis should stay in that cool location for at least six weeks. Then you can start bringing them indoors where you’ll place them in a warm, sunny location and begin watering when the soil looks dry. If you have several pots of this lovely bulb, stagger the times when you bring them in so you’ll have flowers from December through February.

Amaryllis can be outdoors from May into October on Cape Cod.
Occasionally an over-achiever plant will come into flower in the summer.
After the resting and chilling period, bring your pots inside and place them in a warm, bright location.
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