WFF Guide To Growing Amaryllis

GROWING PRE-POTTED BULBS: Amaryllis sent already potted need only a thorough watering with lukewarm water to begin growing. Place the pot where the temperature remains above 60°F. The warmer the temperature (70-80°F night and day is ideal), the faster the bulb will sprout and grow. Providing bottom heat (by setting the pot on a propagation mat or on the top of a refrigerator) may help stimulate growth. Water only when the top inch of the potting mix is dry to the touch. Watering more frequently, particularly just after potting, can cause the bulb to rot. (If the pot is covered with Spanish Moss, lift the moss and pour water directly on the potting mix.)

Growth generally begins in 2-8 weeks. Certain varieties of Amaryllis may take more time to sprout. As long as your bulb remains firm, be patient and take care not to overwater. Provide ample sunshine (a south-facing window or a sunroom) as soon as the bulb sprouts. Rotate the pot frequently to prevent the flower stalks from leaning toward the light. The flower stalks may require support to keep from toppling. Click here for our Amaryllis stakes that are ideally suited to this purpose.

GROWING AMARYLLIS OUTDOORS: These bulbs are prized for their willingness to produce large and colorful blooms indoors in the fall (South African Amaryllis) or in the dead of winter (Dutch Amaryllis). Gardeners in areas where temperatures do not go below 10°F (Zones 8-10) can plant Amaryllis bulbs directly in the ground. Choose a site with full sun (at least 6-8 hours of direct sun daily) and well-drained soil. In frost-free areas, plant the bulb with the neck at, or slightly above, ground level. In areas where some frost may occur, the bulb should be set with 5 or 6" of soil above it, followed by an application of 4 or 5" of fine mulch. Water the area thoroughly after planting. Once growth starts, water only if rain is infrequent and the top 2" of soil are dry. After the leaves appear, fertilize with a balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10); repeat once a month through April. From June through September, keep the area dry. If leaves turn yellow, cut them off at the base.

See our complete Amaryllis growing guide here.

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