Amaryllis, a dazzling flower

Amaryllis is a bulbous plant that is truly magnificent when it blooms in fall, or winter indoors.

Summary of Amaryllis facts

Name – Hippeastrum
Family – Amaryllidaceae
Type – bulbous, indoor flower

Height – 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – soil mix, well-drained

Climate – rather warm if outdoors
Flowering – December to May

These tips on how to care for amaryllis should help you get dazzling flowers.

How to plant amaryllis correctly

Amaryllis is normally grown during the fall and winter seasons, and fall is when bulbs must be prepared and planted in the ground.

Indoor amaryllis

Three amaryllis flowers growing in pots on a windowsill, starting to bloom.Choose a pot that is wide enough to house the bulb, and plant it immediately after buying.

Remember to plant it in special flower plant soil mix, or re-potting soil mix.

You’ll be planting it between October and March, depending on when you wish it to bloom.
For them to bloom at Christmas, plant your bulbs in October.

An amaryllis bulb must be planted so that roots touch the bottom and the cut stem just sticks out from the soil.

If you’ve already got an amaryllis and you wish to make it bloom again, check our page that deals with this specifically:

Outdoor amaryllis

Growing amaryllis outdoors in most of Europe isn’t possible because it isn’t hardy: winters are often too cold for it to survive.

But if the climate is mild enough, that is, winter is mild enough, plant your bulbs in spring when the last frosts are past, in a mix of soil mix and garden soil.

At the end of the blooming season, once the leaves have yellowed and dried, you can dig out the bulbs and plant them again in the following spring, unless winter temperatures in your area never dip below 55°F (12°C).

To keep the bulbs over winter, choose a rather dry, ventilated and dark place.

Pruning and watering amaryllis

Regular watering and add organic fertilizer upon planting the bulb.

Reduce then stop watering once the leaves start wilting.
Place the bulbs in a cool ventilated spot and let the leaves fall off on their own.

In January the bulb will enter its growth phase again.

  • Year after year, flowers will increase in beauty and in quantity.

Amaryllis after flowering

Once your amaryllis has finished blooming, whatever happens, do not cut the leaves off, quite the opposite…

After flowering, it still is possible to get the flower to bloom again the following year. Indeed, if correctly kept, amaryllis bulbs will bloom again year after year.

A dormant phase is required from the end of the blooming season until the following fall. It must last at least two months and must take place in a rather cool and dry place.

After flowering, you must keep watering the plant when the soil is dry, adding ½ dose of flower plant fertilizer every two weeks. In fact, it is after the blooming and before the withering that the plant stocks up on nutrients for the next blooming cycle.

All there is to know about amaryllis

Amaryllis comes from tropical regions, more specifically the tropical Americas. Its name was borrowed from Amaryllis belladona, which is the true amaryllis: those grown in pots are actually Hippeastrum flowers.

They are very well-known for their dazzling flowers, abundant and brightly colored.

Although they usually bloom in spring, amaryllis can be found in flower shops as early as Christmas time.

You must know that for them to bloom in that season, the bulbs were forced: it isn’t their normal blooming period.

This must not stop you from preciously keeping your bulbs after the blooming because it’s possible for you to make those amaryllis bloom again!

Smart tip about amaryllis

Amaryllis will perfectly complement green plants and shrubs in your garden flower beds, on your terrace or indoors.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Red amaryllis shared by AKuptsova under © CC0 1.0
Potted amaryllis shared by AKuptsova under © CC0 1.0

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