Amaryllis flowers are some of the most striking there are. They add punchy color to any room or flower bed, and their unique silhouette acts as a statement focal point in a modern setting. They're also a winter favorite when it comes to houseplants, but while you might be used to buying one off the shelves, what you might not know is you can also grow one easily at home, too.
Sometimes trying out a new plant, especially one that looks as sophisticated as this one, can be daunting. Every plant is different, and while there are some houseplants for beginners that require minimal care, most have quite specific requirements. That's why we've asked some plant experts and enthusiasts to walk us through everything we need to know about how to plant and care for an amaryllis. Here we have produced a comprehensive guide on all you need to know to grow these unique blooms at home.
How do you plant amaryllis bulbs?
This striking indoor plant can make a room look more expensive, but Amaryllis bulbs are quite unique in their needs. Once you know how to plant them it's relatively simple, however, it's essential you follow the necessary steps when first planting. 'To assist in rehydrating the roots and hasten the growing process, soak the amaryllis bulbs for a few hours before potting,' says Mike Lansing, managing editor at Planters Digest.
Once the bulbs are adequately hydrated it's time to plant. Unlike other bulbs, amaryllis shouldn't be fully submerged in soil. 'Compost-fill a pot and place the bulb on top of it; amaryllis thrives in pots that are not too large,' says Mike. If you've ever seen an amaryllis flower before, you'll know the bulb itself is part of its distinctive look.
'After a few weeks in a warm, dark environment, move your amaryllis bulb inside when a shoot starts to appear,' Mike adds. With the right care and enough patience, you'll have a wonderful blooming flower before you know it.
When should you plant amaryllis bulbs?
Unlike some garden flowers, you'll be glad to know it isn't too late to plant these fabulous flowers. Unlike a lot of bulbs to plant in fall like daffodils and tulips, amaryllis can be planted right through until January. In fact, you can plant them anytime between September and January, it just depends on when you want them to bloom.
According to Mike, amaryllis bulbs take six to eight weeks to bloom. This means planting them now would provide you will some late winter color, perfect to whisk the January blues away, and the blooms will remain right through spring, too.
Do amaryllis bulbs bloom every year?
Like many bulbs, amaryllis are perennials, meaning they'll flower each year until they come to the end of their lifespan 'Amaryllis bulbs are often discarded after blooming, but can also be saved from year to year,' says gardening expert from Garden Design, Janet Loughrey. 'When given the right growing conditions and regular fertilizing, amaryllis can grow and rebloom from year to year,' Janet explains.
How do I get the bulb to bloom again?
Like most elements of gardening, caring for an amaryllis plant takes time and consideration. 'Growing and reflowering amaryllis bulbs successfully requires adherence to certain cultural practices,' explains Mike.
One common gardening mistake professionals often see is not paying enough attention to pruning. This is an essential part of the routine you must keep up for consistent blooms. 'Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to snip off the flower stalk once the blooms have faded,' Mike says. 'Cut around one to two inches above the lightbulb, making sure to avoid harming the foliage. The bulb needs to restock its food supply in order for the plant to blossom again the following season.'
While most plants undergo a dormant period through winter, this one doesn't. 'Amaryllis doesn't need a dormant season to flower, in contrast to other bulbs,' Mike notes. 'But, the bulb needs to be put into dormancy in the fall if you wish to time your plant's bloom around the holidays.'
Mike outlines the perfect transition routine from outdoor to indoor as well. 'Bring your amaryllis indoors, and preserve it somewhere cold, dry, and dark,' he says. 'Before trimming the leaves, let them die back, and do not water. After ten to twelve weeks, reposition the bulb in a bright, sunny area and start fertilizing and watering it again. In 4-6 weeks, if your amaryllis has received proper care, you should notice bloom growth.'
It might sound like a lot of work but the results are oh-so worth it for unique blooms that make a real statement, whether indoors or out.
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Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.
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