Bring back their magnificent blooms again and again! Amaryllis are long-lived, one bulb can bloom for up to 20 years if cared for properly. And each year, the bulb gets bigger, producing more flower stems.
Here are some easy steps to encourage next season’s blooms:
Trim faded blooms away from the top of the stem. When the stem begins to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb. Place the potted bulb in a window that fills with bright indirect light.
Water the potted bulb regularly now through the spring. Fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer twice a month. Fertilizing allows the bulb to receive and store-up nutrients. Leaves that grow and fully develop also provide nutrients for the next blooming cycle.
When all danger of frost has passed, move the potted bulb outdoors to a part shade location where it can receive 4-6 hours of sunshine. Sink the bulb in its pot directly into a garden bed. Continue to water regularly, especially if it doesn’t rain.
In late August, when leaves turn yellow and become floppy, cut them back to the top of the bulb. The bulb has entered dormancy and you can stop watering and fertilizing. If the potted bulb is outside in the garden, dig it up, and let it completely dry out.
Store the dry potted bulb in a cool dark place (12-15° C) such as a garage or basement. Avoid storing amaryllis bulbs near ripening fruit such as apples, pears and bananas, as this causes them not to flower. If you want amaryllis blooms in time for Christmas, the bulb’s rest period should begin in early September and end in late October.
After dormancy bring the potted bulb indoors to room temperature. Repot the bulb with fresh potting mix. Amaryllis bulbs like to be snug in their pots and need larger pots once every 3-4 years. Water the pot thoroughly, placing it in a bright and warm indoor location. When active green growth appears follow the steps in the initial planting instructions until your amaryllis flowers again.