by Jennifer Poindexter
Have you ever heard of the flower, amaryllis? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. I love growing flowers. However, I don’t love the flowers which require a ton of effort to keep them looking great.
This is why amaryllis and I get along so well. It’s easy to grow, produces gorgeous flowers, and can brighten your day with one glance in its direction. If you’re interested in gaining a few extra tips when raising this plant, you’re in the right place. Here are my top tips for raising amaryllis around your home.
1. Buy the Right Amaryllis
There are different kinds of amaryllis to choose from. Ensuring you purchase the right variety and bulb are crucial to the type of growing experience you’ll have.
My first amaryllis was given to me, and I have loved this flower ever since. Thankfully, the person who gifted it to me, knew how to pick her flowers.
Amaryllis comes in approximately 500 different varieties. The main difference is how long the blooms last. Also, the flowers will vary in color and design.
Once you discover which variety is the best for you, be sure you pick the right bulb. The larger the amaryllis bulb, the more flowers it contains.
Pick the variety that displays the colors you desire, for the right amount of time, and pick a large bulb, too. That’s the basis for starting this growing experience on the right foot.
2. Create the Right Growing Conditions
Once you have your amaryllis picked out, it’s vital that you also provide the right growing conditions. Amaryllis needs well-draining soil. The bulb will rot if left sitting in water for long periods of time.
The soil should also be rich in nutrients. It’s important to ensure your plant is provided the right temperatures.
Amaryllis prefers temperatures around 70-degrees Fahrenheit. I was given my amaryllis around Christmas. Therefore, it began as an indoor plant because most homes stay around this desired temperature.
However, as the weather warms, I like to move my amaryllis to my back deck. This flower can brighten both the inside and outside of your home if provided the right growing conditions.
It’s important to note that amaryllis likes bright light, but it must be indirect. When I place it outdoors, I ensure the shadow of my home blocks most of the sun. When it’s indoors, I place it where the sun reaches it indirectly as well.
As you can tell, meeting the basic needs of this flower isn’t difficult. Take the time to plant the flower in the right conditions, and it should prosper.
3. Provide Proper Care
After you plant the amaryllis where it can thrive, you must know how to care for it properly. The first thing is to water the plant regularly.
I still practice deep watering for this flower, though it’s grown in a container. I’ll wet the soil until water is running from beneath the planter.
When I can stick my finger into the soil, and it’s dry to the first knuckle, I apply more water. You shouldn’t over fertilize this flower.
It will only need to be fertilized after it’s first year of growth. Apply the fertilizer at the beginning of year two to encourage the plant to bloom again.
The flower typically blooms two months after it’s planted or two months after waking it from dormancy. You should only provide this type of care while the plant is active and growing.
Avoid watering and fertilizing the plant while it’s in a dormant state.
Our final tip in caring for amaryllis is to ensure you deadhead the blooms when they’ve wilted. This helps keep the plant vibrant and healthy. Take care of your amaryllis, so you can enjoy it longer.
4. Pick the Right Container
It’s best to grow amaryllis in a container. This allows you to provide better care for it than if it were in the ground.
This growing method allows you to control the elements, and move the plant around, as needed. However, it’s vital that you pick the right growing container.
A sturdy pot is necessary for this plant. This can be anything from strong plastic to a terracotta pot. The main thing is that it must be able to support the plant and provide room for the flowers to sprout.
It’s also wise to choose a planter with a broader bottom for added stability. I have only grown my amaryllis in plastic containers.
However, terracotta might decrease the amount of water the plant needs because it holds moisture longer than other types of planters.
Take all of this into consideration when picking the right container to grow your amaryllis flower.
5. Know How to Store It Over Winter
Amaryllis is a flower that can bloom for multiple years. As long as you provide the basic care for the plant, it should return.
There have been some reports of amaryllis plants lasting over seven decades! Take care of your flower to encourage it to last.
Some people purchase these bulbs during the winter to add a splash of color to their home during the darker portion of the year.
This is how I got started raising this flower. Once the bloom ended, I cared for it throughout the year until the next winter.
My second winter with my amaryllis, I stored it until spring. To store this plant, cut the stem back to only an inch or two above the soil.
Place it in a cool location where it won’t receive a great deal of light. Leave it be until you’re ready for the plant to bloom again.
I now keep my amaryllis in my greenhouse because I learned this plant is toxic to some pets. During the winter, I place it on a bottom shelf in this location.
It blocks much of the sun from reaching it, is protected from frost, but kept in a cool setting during the winter months.
As things warm up, I move the amaryllis to a higher shelf in my greenhouse where it can receive more sunlight.
I begin by watering it lightly. As the plant grows and begins to bloom again, it needs more water. Testing the soil with your finger, as mentioned earlier, will help you know when the plant needs more water.
This is a basic way to care for your amaryllis flower during its dormant phase, and keep it growing for years to come.
6. Don’t Limit Its Growing Space
I’ve mentioned a few different places I’ve grown my amaryllis. When it was first gifted to me, I started by growing it indoors.
I learned, through research, that the plant was toxic to my cats. Therefore, I knew it needed to be moved to another growing area. This is when I decided on my greenhouse.
When it’s warmer weather outside, I move my amaryllis outdoors to be enjoyed. Don’t assume that amaryllis flowers are only good for growing during winter, indoors, and for one season.
If you move the plant around, find out what works for your particular situation, and care for it, this flower should be a part of your family for many years.
This is why I highly encourage you to grow the flower in a planter. It will allow you to move the plant around and do what works for your home and planting zone.
7. Don’t Fret Over this Flower
The biggest tip I have is don’t fret over this flower. In reality, it’s one of the easiest plants I’ve ever grown.
My first year raising amaryllis, I thought I had killed it when it went dormant. I wasn’t sure if the way I stored it would work over the long-run, and I had to experiment to see what would work for me when caring for this flower.
I learned it’s pretty hardy and easy to please. If you don’t have room for houseplants inside your home, keep the flower dormant until it can be grown outdoors.
If your planting zone would make it difficult to grow this flower outdoors, raise it strictly as a houseplant.
When the plant is done blooming for the year and is ready to go dormant, store it in a greenhouse, closet, or basement. Whatever you have to provide the right conditions, should work.
In general, if you provide the basics for this plant, and cut it back when it’s done blooming, you should have a positive growing experience.
This concludes my top tips for raising amaryllis. If you’re a beginner gardener or looking for a simple houseplant, this could be the flower you need.
It’s beautiful, comes in many varieties, and is extremely easy to care for. Try your hand at raising this plant, and it might bring forth a new confidence in yourself and your gardening abilities.