Amaryllis – Indoor and Outdoor Plant Care
Even though the bulbs can bloom at other times of the year, many people raise amaryllis to produce houseplants that bloom in the winter. Amaryllis flowers are hybrids of many tropical plant species from the Hippeastrum genus in Central and South America. A true Amaryllis genus exists, although it only has two indigenous species to South Africa. However, these are not the amaryllis plants typically grown in the United States.
Amaryllis plants have wavy leaves and enormous flowers with trumpet-like shapes. Be warned that the amaryllis’s bulbs, leaves, and stems are poisonous to both people and pets.
Whether you’re growing your amaryllis indoors or outdoors, and when you want it to bloom, there are several ways to take care of it.
Moving your amaryllis outside after nighttime lows are over 50 degrees is possible.
Give it three days of shade to get used to being outside before gradually exposing it to more sunlight.
These plants adore the sun. After giving it time to adjust to the outdoors, put it somewhere that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
Amaryllis doesn’t require ground planting. You are welcome to leave the pot on your porch or bury it in a garden.
To encourage it to grow additional leaves, feed and water it regularly. A healthy bulb means more flower stalks and more blooms per stem, which means your bulb is saving up energy to create more blossoms at this time.
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Spring and Summer Indoor Amaryllis Care
Fill a 5- to 7-inch pot halfway with a high-quality, well-draining sandy loam potting mix to bring your amaryllis indoors. The amaryllis bulb should be planted next, with the top third left exposed, and the remaining dirt in the planter should be filled with potting soil. Plant the bulbs ten to twelve weeks before you want the flowers to blossom.
Put a bamboo stake next to the lightbulb. When planting, the stake should be inserted to prevent future damage to the bulb and roots since the blossoms can become top-heavy.
When grown indoors in pots, amaryllis prefer bright indirect light in the afternoon but prefers direct morning sun. Maintain moist but not soggy soil. Within a few weeks of sowing, a robust blossom stalk should emerge. The flat leaves will follow as the flower stem grows. Turn the container every few days to ensure that the flower stalk grows straight and is exposed to the same light on both sides.
Fall and Winter Indoor Amaryllis Care
Many individuals buy amaryllis bulbs to pot in the fall to have blooming amaryllis plants for the winter holidays. If you care for your amaryllis inside, proceed as you would when planting it in the spring. However, if you provide year-round amaryllis care, you can perform some particular amaryllis care measures after flowering to produce those winter blooms.
After your amaryllis blooms, prune the flower stalk, leaving the leaves to develop normally. You can put your plant in some light shade for the summer if you like. When the top 2 inches of soil become dry, water your amaryllis. Additionally, fertilize it every two to three weeks using a water-soluble fertilizer at half intensity.
In August, stop feeding your plant and bring it inside once more. Even though the plant’s foliage will deteriorate, it should never be exposed to freezing. Any entirely deteriorated amaryllis leaves can be trimmed back. It’s time to place your amaryllis in the dark at this point. Move it to a dark, dry, and cold (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) indoor location. Additionally, if you’re aiming for a winter holiday, stop watering it at this point or 10 to 12 weeks before the time you want it to bloom.
Resuming watering now, relocate the plant to a warm, sunny area of the house. Soon after the emergence of leaves will come blossoms; withhold feeding for eight to ten weeks after flowering to encourage the dormancy required to reset the bulbs.
Caring for Amaryllis Outdoors
Amaryllis’s care outdoors is possible in zones 8 to 10. Plant the bulbs whenever the soil reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for healthy, well-drained growth. The amaryllis is a tropical plant that favors warm weather. Outside, bright shade is the best environment, even though it can survive in conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade.
Plant the bulbs with their necks at or slightly above ground level if your area is completely frost-free. Set the bulbs with 5 to 6 inches of soil on top of them in places where frost is possible, then cover them with 5 to 6 inches of mulch. After planting, water thoroughly, but wait to water again until the top 2 inches of soil are dry.
Every leaf starts to emerge, fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once a month till blossoming. Remove the flower stems once flowering is finished, but leave the foliage so it can develop further. Cut off any yellowing leaves if you notice any.
If your area may experience winter frost, put a layer of mulch in the fall. During the winter, the plants usually go dormant.
Cut the flower stem back to just above the bulb once the blossoms have faded. Until the plant becomes dormant in the fall, keep watering it. You can transfer the amaryllis outside and place it in a partially shaded area for the summer.
Amaryllis plants can be left unattended throughout the winter in zones 8 to 10. However, in zone 7, they can overwinter in the garden if a thick layer of mulch is used. For storage purposes in other climate zones, carefully remove the amaryllis bulb from the garden bed and put it somewhere cold, dry, and dark.
How to Get Amaryllis to Bloom
If grown in a frost-free garden (zones 8 to 10), amaryllis will naturally bloom in March, April, and May, with a potential, rebloom in the fall. However, amaryllis bulbs are frequently bought to be grown as potted plants for Christmas. This is only possible if you plant the dormant bulbs at the proper period: about 10 to 12 weeks before desired bloom time. Commercial bulbs for holiday bloom are dormant bulbs that should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place until the appropriate planting period. Commercial bulbs are purchased from a grower.
Allowing potted amaryllis plants to develop outdoors over the summer and then bringing them inside where you can put them into a brief hibernation by withholding water and fertilizer for a few weeks may prevent reblooms. The bulbs can then be restarted. If your amaryllis doesn’t bloom, it’s likely because it didn’t get enough rest after its previous bloom or because it doesn’t have enough light.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Be on the lookout for mealybugs and spider mites, which horticultural oil can be used to cure. Slugs and snails may feast on plants outside.
Amaryllis can also contract red blotch and mosaic viruses. Red blotch appears as reddish-brown blotches on the leaves, bulb, and scape and spreads quickly from bulb to bulb. The leaves of plants with the mosaic virus will have yellow streaking and exhibit decreased blooming and growth. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent either of these illnesses.
Like daffodils, amaryllis bulbs will develop side bulbs. Once the parent plant has gone dormant, and its blossoms have faded, generally in late winter to early spring for outdoor plants and the fall for interior plants, you can carefully remove these bulbils and pot them to grow more. Before anticipating blooms from bulbils, give them a few growing seasons. This is how:
Carefully remove the entire plant from the flower bed or container with a spade.
Clear the area around the bulb and any roots of the soil.
To separate the bulbils from the parent bulb, gently twist them. If it is difficult to detach, you can split them apart with a knife. Don’t remove any small bulbils from the parent bulb; be sure to leave any roots on the bulbils alone.
In the exact location in the garden bed or container, replant the parent bulb.
Plant the bulbils in rich potting soil-filled containers that have been prepared, exposing about one-third of the bulb’s top above the soil. The container should allow no more than 2 inches between the bulb and the side.
Put the container somewhere sunny indoors. Water the soil to keep it moist but not drenched. In three to four weeks, new growth should start to appear.
Types of Amaryllis
There are numerous amaryllis kinds, and your decision will mostly rely on whatever flower color you find most attractive. Some suggested types are:
- “Samba”: This variety features broad crimson blossoms with white ruffled patterns.
- ‘Apple Blossom’: This well-liked cultivar features flowers with pink, white, and green throats.
- ‘Faro’: This plant boasts exquisite white and salmon-colored flowers. Compared to most types, the blooms are smaller and more fragile.
- A big 7-inch flower with a distinctive watermelon pink to dark rose hue and greenish centers is produced by the shrub “Summertime.”
- “Matterhorn” is an excellent option for amaryllis, which is entirely white. It has yellow-green throats.
Amaryllis can be encouraged to bloom once more the following year. It is quite simple and gratifying, but it does call for preparation and extra caution. Cut the flower stem to within 1″ of the top of the bulb once the blossoms have faded. Continue giving the plant regular waterings and feedings of liquid houseplant fertilizer. Many leaves will develop on the amaryllis in the spring and summer. The plant will be helped to produce energy for the bloom the following year. When the pot is absolutely dry, withhold water in mid-August and let the foliage go away.
How long do amaryllis flowers last?
Amaryllis flowers often last for two to three weeks. The spikes will produce 3-6 flowers that will open at various periods and last for at least 6-8 weeks.
Does amaryllis come back every year?
Amaryllis may grow effectively year-round and bloom again, even though they are traditionally only sold during Christmas.
What does the amaryllis flower symbolize?
These magnificent flowers are thought to represent pride, strength, and tenacity. Greek-derived Amaryllis means “to sparkle” as well.