Brighten winter days with flowering bulbs...
Brighten those gray winter days with a few colorful amaryllis. The 6- to 10-inch trumpet shaped blossoms are sure to generate a smile and brighten your mood. And consider sharing the fun of growing these beauties by giving them as gifts to family and friends.
Plant one or more bulbs in a container with drainage holes. Select a pot that is slightly larger than the bulb. Plant your amaryllis in a well-drained potting mix leaving the top 1/3 of the bulb above the soil surface. Then water thoroughly. Dress things up a bit by covering the soil with moss or decorative stones.
Or place several inches of pebbles in the bottom of a glass vase or watertight container. Cover the pebbles with water. Set the bulb on top of the pebbles adding more stones to secure the bulb leaving the top 1/3 exposed. Continue to keep the water level just below the bulb.
Move the potted amaryllis bulb to a cool sunny location. Water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil barely moist.
Once in bloom move to a bright location out of direct sunlight to prolong flowering. Use a decorative stake or interesting twigs to support any tall top heavy flower stems that need support.
After flowering you can grow your amaryllis as a houseplant then force it to bloom again, give it to a friend who loves to garden or return it to the garden in the form of compost. Do what best fits your schedule and gardening style.
To keep your amaryllis growing, remove the flowers as they fade to prevent them from setting seed and robbing the bulb of energy. Allow the flower stalk to fade and remove it once it has yellowed.
Grow your amaryllis in a sunny window, fertilize with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer and water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry.
Keep your plant growing year round and you will usually enjoy flowers in winter and summer. Or give it a rest period of 8 to 12 weeks to control bloom time.
Have fun planting and tending your amaryllis. Be patient as it can take a month or more for flowers to appear; but you’ll find the wait is worth it.
At a Glance
Name: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)
Size: 12 -24 inches tall
Light: Bright light indoors, shaded location when growing outdoors in summer
Water: Keep soil slightly moist while flowering then allow the top few inches to dry before watering thoroughly after flowering is complete
Soil: Well-drained potting mix
Fertilize: Dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer after flowering
Written by, gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Each month Melinda will feature a low maintenance plant perfect for beginning and experienced gardeners looking for attractive easy care plants. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Low Maintenance Plant of the Month with you!