Amaryllis Planting Instructions and Care
The Amaryllis bulb, though large, is one of the easiest bulbs to grow. The bulbs will normally bloom within 6 to 8 weeks from the time they're potted and should be planted in October to May.
Plant bulb before sprouting takes place. If you wish to delay planting, store in a cool place, +5°C to +10°C (40°F to 50°F). Your refrigerator's vegetable drawer is ideal, but do not place the bulb alongside food. You may store your bulbs cool until 5 weeks before Christmas to have wonderful Christmas- flowering Amaryllis in your home on Christmas day! If sprouts are visible, plant immediately. Pot bulb into any size container into which it will fit - provided it has a drainage hole. Choose a brand name potting soil which drains well (pH 6.0 to 6.8). Light, yet nutritious, it should contain no tree bark or fresh manure.
Hold bulb so that its roots hang down into the pot, then fill in around bulb with chosen potting medium. Firm down so that no air pockets remain among roots. The nose of the bulb should be above the pot's rim, with its shoulders protruding above the the soil surface. After planting, water well and firm down medium again. Roots and bulb should be seated firmly - but do not damage. If you use a saucer below the pot; ensure no water stands in it.
Place your potted amaryllis in a light, constantly warm position. This will encourage an immediate growth response. Any room in which a normal home temperature of around 20°C (68°F) is maintained, is ideal. As the first floral stalk lengthens, rotate pot through a half turn every day or so. This keeps it from bending towards the strongest light source (window). Never expose bulb to temperatures below freezing (0°C or 32°F).
After initial watering, do not water again during the first week. For the following two weeks, the soil should be kept only slightly moist - by adding tepid water around the bulb if necessary. Over- watering will inhibit root formation - and any water found standing in the saucer should be emptied out. A slightly dry medium will stimulate regrowth of the root system. Once flower stalk is well out of the bulb, water more frequently.
Faded blooms may be snipped off from top of stalk. Should you wish to maintain the plant after flowering - for regrowth and blooming next year - keep the bulb in a warm place indoors. Soil should be kept just moist. Feed with a bulb or household plant fertilizer occasionally. If necessary, stake foliage and stalks. Alternatively, once all danger of frost is past, the plant - in its pot - may be plunged into the garden, so that the pot is barely beneath the soil surface. During Autumn, place the bulb - in its pot - on its side in a dry, dark and cool place. A temperature of 13°C to 16°C (55°F to 60°F) is ideal. Allow the bulb to enjoy a well- earned rest - without food or water - for three months. After this period, cut off the old foliage. Remove the bulb from its and wash the bulb and roots carefully in water. Now repeat the planting process as before. With proper care it will flower again in Spring.