Native to Central and South America, amaryllis counts over 80 hybrid species with flowers simple or double, large or average-sized, with varied colors. Planting depends on the season and whether you’re going for pot or ground-growing.
December and January are perfect months to plant your amaryllis bulb. Bury it halfway in a pot filled with a mix of soil mix and garden soil, with a layer of sand or clay pebbles to ensure proper drainage at the bottom.
Bulb size, for Amaryllis, determines quantity and height of flower stems. Smaller bulbs will develop one or two stems 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) tall, while larger bulbs will produce up to five stems more than 20 inches (50 cm) tall.
Once the bulb is planted, water just a little bit and place the pot in a sunlit room where the temperature is mild (70 to 75°F (21 to 23°C)), near a radiator eventually.
Your plant will enter its growth phase, and you will quickly (within about two weeks) see one or two green stems shoot out. At their tip, about four to six weeks after planting, amaryllis buds form. From these, two to three flowers with large corollas will bloom.
This spectacular bloom can last over four weeks. If you work to prolong the blooming, it can even reach eight weeks!
And after planting?
As soon as the stem appears, pull the plant away from any concentrated heat source and water more to keep the soil slightly moist.
Once in full bloom, flowers usually need to be attached to stakes because they are too heavy for their stems. As the flower grows and blooms, keep watering and add geranium fertilizer for your amaryllis to develop harmoniously.
When flowers have withered, cut the stem but let leaves keep growing while the bulb stocks up on nutrients. During this phase, keep adding fertilizer. When leaves start turning yellow and drying up, stop watering and place your plant in a dry spot for three months. This is the time it needs to build up its strength before again bursting to life… and bloom again!
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