Saturday, November 12, 2011
I Love Amaryllis
When they are dried and forced into dormancy for shipping purposes, the bulbs are triggered to bloom during the winter, rather than the spring.
Growing amaryllis indoors
Even if you intend to plant them in your garden eventually, amaryllis bulbs purchased now should be planted into pots.
Use a good-quality potting soil and plant the bulb with the neck that protrudes from the top of the bulb above the soil surface.
The pot should be large enough so that there is about a 1-inch clearance between the pot rim and the bulb. Clay or plastic pots may be used. Since an amaryllis in bloom can be somewhat top-heavy, clay pots provide a little more stability. You can also buy them pre-planted in pots ready to grow. These bulbs can be of lesser quality if they are not clearly marked as being Dutch bulbs.
Place the pot indoors in a sunny window (the more sun the better) and keep the soil evenly moist.
When the flower stalk begins to emerge, rotate the pot about one-half turn every few days so it will grow straight. Otherwise, it will grow toward the window and look awkward.
If you provide your amaryllis with too little light, the flower stalk will grow excessively tall and may even fall over. Trust me this is heartbreaking.
This time of year, flowering generally occurs about 7 to 10 weeks after planting. Some large bulbs will produce two flower stalks if you are lucky.
Sometime after the flower stalk has emerged, leaves will grow from the top of the bulb. After the flowers have faded, cut the stalk at the point where it emerges from the bulb, but do not cut any foliage.
Keep the plant inside, and continue to provide plenty of light, or the leaves will be weak. Water it regularly when the soil begins to feel dry, but it is not really necessary to fertilize your amaryllis during this time.
When April arrives, or the first complete thaw whichever comes later, it's time to plant your bulbs into the garden. Amaryllis planted in the garden this coming spring will get into their natural cycle and bloom each year in April. Clearly mark where you have planted each bulb as they will have to be dug up each fall.
Care in the landscape