The wonderful, large blooms that amaryllis produces are undoubtedly one of the many wonders of the world.
Amaryllis is known for being one of the brightest surprises of winter. The blooms grow from the bulb itself on a long stem.
The ease with which these brightly colored, trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl is something that deserves to be studied.
Few plants can be grown with such ease and fewer flowers bloom with the power and exuberance that amaryllis does.
When does Amaryllis Bloom?
Predicting when a plant will bloom correctly can be an extreme sport. If you doubt me, ask a florist who is supposed to deliver blooming roses to a wedding.
Knowing exactly when your amaryllis will bloom can be even more stressful. Generally, this plant blooms in winter, for the holidays.
Some bloom in early, mid, and late winter. However, some amaryllis can bloom in early spring, depending on the climate.
Amaryllis bulbs grow in the warm south and typically bloom in December. These are the early blooming types. Some examples are Mandela, Bolero, and Olaf.
Those grown in the colder Northern hemisphere will flower between late January and early March. These are the late bloomers.
Another factor that will greatly impact your amaryllis’ bloom time is when you plant your bulb.
You can plant an amaryllis bulb every two weeks for a month or two. This way, you’ll have non-stop blooms to brighten your home all winter.
How Long After Planting Will Amaryllis Take to Bloom?
Most amaryllis will bloom six to twelve weeks after planting the bulb, but this time differs for the different amaryllis varieties.
The exact time depends on a lot of factors, including environment, nutrition, lighting, and temperature.
How Long Do Amaryllis Blooms Last?
Amaryllis blooms are long-lasting, staying open for approximately two to three weeks per stem when kept in ideal growing conditions.
Amaryllis bulbs can keep sending up flowers for several weeks if they are grown in cool temperatures, out of the sunlight, and watered regularly.
Amaryllis are steadily becoming popular as cut flowers. They also last long – up to two weeks – when kept in a vase.
How to Care for A Blooming Amaryllis
Once your winter blooms have arrived, you’ll want to enjoy them for as long as possible. These keynotes will help in this way.
Protect from the Cold
If your amaryllis is potted outdoors, bring it inside your house especially if strong winds, regular frosts, and temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit are expected in your area.
It should be protected until the last deep freeze has passed, then returned to its former position if you still want to do that.
Water when Needed
Give your plant a drink when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Let the soil be barely moist in between waterings so that your amaryllis does not become overwatered.
When you water, be careful not to wet the part of the bulb that sticks above the soil, and keep the leaves dry to prevent mold growth.
You can apply a diluted, balanced fertilizer at the base of your plant and water it into the soil.
Protect from Sunlight
To make your blooms last longer, move your plant out of direct sunlight to a location with softer, diffused light.
Amaryllis grown in cool to moderate locations can receive a few hours of bright light, but those grown in hotter climates should not be exposed to much sun.
What to do with Amaryllis Bulbs After Blooming
After New year’s, many of us remove the decorations and throw out the seasonal blooming flowers that we acquired for the holidays.
Don’t throw out your amaryllis. Even now that the flowers are gone, there are good chances that you can cajole your bulbs into blooming again in the next blooming season.
It is known, perhaps not popularly, that amaryllis can rebloom year after year if you give them the proper care. Here’s what you should do after your amaryllis has finished blooming.
- When an amaryllis flower has wilted, gently cut it off so the plant doesn’t waste energy forming a seed pod.
- Make a quick cut where the bloom connects to the stalk and leave all other flowers connected to that stalk in place until they fade.
- Leave the stalk untouched for as long as it is green because it is still photosynthesizing and feeding the bulb.
- When the stalk has withered, cut it off to an inch above the bulb.
- Keep watering the bulb and continue to provide it with bright light. Soon, the leaves will grow.
- Fertilize your bulb with slow-release granules in late spring and summer.
Now that the leaves are growing, you can encourage your amaryllis bulb to rebloom. To do this, allow it to go dormant in the fall for as long as two to four months.
- To trigger dormancy, keep your amaryllis in a dark place with cool temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Withhold water too.
- Don’t touch the foliage. They will turn brown and die on their own, continuing to feed the bulb as they do so.
- Check on your amaryllis after eight weeks. If it has started pushing out new green tips, bring it out and move it to a warm and sunny location where it can continue growing for the new blooming season.
- Begin watering every week and fertilize it monthly. In six to eight weeks, flowers should have started to open. When this happens, move it out of the direct sun to keep the blooms for longer.
If your amaryllis bulb goes dormant in the ground, you can dig it up after all the foliage has died to ensure its survival.
Store the bulb in a cool, dark place for two months, then plant it in a pot two inches wider than it is and twice its height, leaving one-third exposed.
Place the pot in a warm, sunny place and moisten the soil. In four to twelve weeks, the bulb will begin to sprout then you should see blooms within three to six weeks.
With all this care, your amaryllis should rebloom. Enjoy it while it lasts, then start over with a newer bulb when it’s over.
How to Make an Amaryllis Bloom
A common complaint from amaryllis gardeners is that their plant has refused to bloom. Potential causes are
- Insufficient light
- Immature bulb
- Improper soil
- Insufficient nutrients
- Incorrect temperature
- Not the proper season
- Improper bulb care
Increase the amount of light your amaryllis is getting to at least four hours of sun. You can keep it in front of a southern window and rotate it for uniform exposure.
Keep your amaryllis inside in preferred temperatures if there is a frost going on.
Make sure your plant’s container has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom and only water when the top one or two inches of the soil are dry.
If the soil is undernourished, apply a balanced NPK fertilizer. If there is too much nitrogen, water the soil until the excess liquid starts pouring out of the drainage holes.
The nitrogen will wash out of the soil since it is water soluble.
Amaryllis bulbs take some time before getting mature enough to bloom. They will not flower in the first year of life.
Buy only mature bulbs from your vendor. Check out the size (mature bulbs are larger) and ask for the age (should be at least three years) before you buy.
Find out the exact blooming season of the variety of amaryllis you have. Sometimes, you might be expecting blooms out of its season and may worry for nothing.
Lastly, after your plant’s first blooming season, care for and store the bulb well so it can come back bigger and better for a second blooming.