The amaryllis provides a spectacular display while in bloom, but once it has finished and the flowers have faded many people will toss the bulb out into the trash. However this is a complete waste since with a little care the bulb can be persuaded to produce more flowers a second time around. I came across an article by Kay Hinkle over at The Master Gardeners website which contains all the information you need to get your amaryllis to bloom once again.
Do you have a spent Amaryllis bulb? I have one I purchased after Christmas at one third the cost of a bulb before the holidays. It put out a beautiful triple bloom in snow white a few weeks ago. Then it put up a second stem that is blooming just now, this time a double white. Since that purchase, a friend gave me a bulb that was just too affordable to pass up, purchased at a local box store. I expect it will bloom a fiery red at Easter.
Amaryllis have become increasingly popular holiday gift plants, undoubtedly because the bulbs bloom very freely indoors and they are affordable. The large, showy flowers make a bold statement and are available in an increasing variety of colors, shapes, and sizes that fit almost any taste. Amaryllis are not difficult to grow and may be brought into bloom every year if the plants are treated correctly. To understand the process, it may help to understand the plant and its native environment.
Amaryllis are bulbs of the genus Hippeastrum that are native to the tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas. Some species grow in rock crevices in savannas that have distinct dry and wet seasons; others grow in high plateau regions that have cool weather for most of the year.
One species from Brazil is epiphytic and grows in trees in forests with no soil around the roots. Many species are hybridized to produce today’s hybrids, and most of these species experience warm, humid conditions with abundant rainfall for most of the year and a short, cooler dry season. To make your amaryllis bloom again, you simply have to mimic the conditions that nature provides.
Here is an easy step-by-step plan to get your amaryllis to bloom again:
1. Keep it cool through the holidays.
Enjoy your amaryllis for the maximum time possible by placing it in a location with diffuse light and cool indoor temperatures in the 60?F range. Keep it barely moist. When you water, be careful not to get the portion of the bulb that sticks above the soil wet. If you have a large bulb, you may get two or three flowering stalks that bloom over a period of several weeks.
Read the rest at The Master Gardeners
Image source: Armin S Kowalski