Amaryllis: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
Amaryllis Plant Description
The huge amaryllis blooms that are often produced as winter-blooming houseplants are usually carefully developed hybrids derived from diverse species in the Hippeastrum genus, a genus of tropical plants native to Central and South America. These plants feature strappy leaves and large trumpet-shaped blooms.
The flowers are usually a deep red, pink, white, or a combination of these hues. Your amaryllis is likely to bloom for at least seven weeks. A real amaryllis genus exists, with just two species endemic to South Africa.
These are not, however, the amaryllis plants that are grown in the United States. It grows up to 1 to 2 feet tall and 9 to 12 inches wide.
How to Control Amaryllis Bloom Time?
Amaryllis will normally bloom in March, April, and May if cultivated in a frost-free garden (zones 8 to 10), with the possibility of an autumn rebloom.
However, amaryllis bulbs are frequently purchased to be grown as potted plants for Christmas bloom, which can only be done if the dormant bulbs are planted at the exact proper time, about 10 to 12 weeks before the intended bloom period.
When you acquire commercial bulbs for Christmas blooms from a grower, keep in mind that they are dormant bulbs that should be kept cold until planting time.
Unless you already have potted amaryllis plants, you may limit future blooming by leaving them outside to develop during the summer, then bringing them inside and putting them into a short period of dormancy by restricting water and fertiliser for a few weeks, then re-potting the bulbs.
Amaryllis as a New Indoor Plant for Seasonal Blooms
Fill a 5 to 7 inches pot halfway with a good-quality, well-draining potting mix, then plant the amaryllis bulb so that the top one-third of the container is exposed when the remainder of the potting mix is added.
It’s best to plant the bulbs 10 to 12 weeks before you want them to blossom. Beside the bulb, insert a bamboo stem. The blooms can become top-heavy, so securing them with a stake now can prevent damage to the bulb and roots later.
Water well, then maintain the pot in bright, indirect light with the soil damp but not wet. Within a few weeks, a robust blossom stem should emerge. As the flower stem grows, the flat leaves will appear.
Every few days, rotate the container to ensure that the flower stem has equal exposure on all sides and develops straight.
Forcing an Existing Amaryllis Plant into Holiday Bloom
Cut down the flower stem once flowering ceases, but let the leaves continue growing, to encourage a potted amaryllis to bloom for the holidays. If you prefer, you may put your plant in partial shade outside for the summer.
Maintain the soil moist but not soggy by watering it regularly. As of August, you should stop feeding. Whenever it’s essential to take plants indoors in September or October, place your amaryllis in a cool, dry environment (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and stop watering it.
The leaves will start to die back. If you want your amaryllis to bloom at a specified period, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, count back approximately 10 to 12 weeks to decide when to stop watering it.
The amaryllis will shoot out another bloom stalk due to a lack of leaves and water. At this point, resume watering and relocate the plant to a warm, sunny location. Soon after, blossoms will develop, followed by leaves. Restart the process when the blossoms fade.
Allowing Potted Amaryllis Plants to Re-bloom Naturally
After the flowering period has ended, cut off the flower stalk but leave the leaves to grow as long as possible to allow your potted amaryllis to re-bloom spontaneously. Keep it in direct sunlight, whether indoors or out.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy by watering the plant. In August, stop feeding the plant. Move it indoors before the first frost, and keep it in a cool, well-lit location.
Around December, the leaves will begin to turn yellow and fall. Continue to water as normal, and new flower stalks should grow in about a month. At this time, resume feeding and relocate the plant to a warm, sunny location.
Soon after, blossoms will develop, followed by leaves. Restart the process when the blossoms fade. Larger plants and blooms will come from allowing the plant to blossom naturally in this manner.
Amaryllis as a Garden Plant
Amaryllis bulbs may be grown in the garden in zones 8 to 10. Plant the bulbs with their necks at or a little above ground level if your location is completely frost-free.
Set the bulbs with 5 to 6 inches of soil above them in frost-prone locations, followed by 5 to 6 inches of mulch. Following planting, water generously, but only after the top 2 inches of soil become dry.
Feed with a balanced fertiliser once a month until April when the leaves show. Amaryllis in the garden blooms in March, April, and May. Cut the flower stems when flowering has been over, but let the leaves continue growing.
Remove any leaves that have turned yellow. Occasionally water the plants during the dry season from June to September.
If your location may see winter frost, put a layer of winter mulch in the fall. During the winter, the plants usually become dormant.
How to Care Amaryllis?
Amaryllis thrives in a wide range of light situations, from full sun to partial shade. The optimal atmosphere for outdoor activities is brilliant shade. They enjoy early light but brilliant shade in the afternoon when grown as container plants indoors.
Grow amaryllis bulbs outside in well-drained, nutritious soil. Use a good-quality, well-draining sandy loam potting mix when growing planted bulbs.
Hydrate your amaryllis if the top 2 inches of soil become dry throughout the growth or blossoming period. In order to reset the bulbs for future blooms, amaryllis requires a dry rest period after flowering. The watering plan must be carefully manipulated to force amaryllis into seasonal bloom.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
An amaryllis is a tropical plant that thrives in hotter climates. They are hardy to zone 8 outdoors, and zone 7 gardeners may overwinter them in the garden provided the earth is well mulched.
Even during the growing season, feed your amaryllis every 2 to 3 weeks with a half-strength water-soluble fertiliser. Hold back feeding after flowering to induce the dormancy required to reset the bulbs.
Varieties of Sweet Alyssum
There are dozens of different amaryllis types, and the one you choose is based on your favourite bloom colour. The following are some suggestions:
‘Samba’: large crimson-ruffled flowers with white patterns characterise this variety.
‘Apple Blossom’ is a famous cultivar with pink and white blossoms with green throats.
‘Faro’ is a dainty shrub with pale salmon and white blooms. Unlike other types, the flowers are smaller and more fragile.
‘Summertime’ boasts enormous 7-inch flowers with greenish centres and a distinctive watermelon pink to dark rose colour.
‘Matterhorn’: For a pure white amaryllis, this is a great choice. Yellow-green is the colour of the throats.
Cut the flower stem back to just above the bulb after the blossoms fade. Continue to water the plant until the fall, when it will go dormant. For the summer, you may transfer the amaryllis outside and place it in a part-shade setting.
How to Propagate Amaryllis?
Like daffodils, amaryllis bulbs develop side bulbs. Cut the bulbils with care and pot them up to generate additional plants. Allow them to develop for a few seasons before anticipating blossoms.