I haven’t had the best of luck with Amaryllis over the years. There was one pretty white and pink Amaryllis that flowered and survived for a few years as one of my houseplants. But I never really got the hang of putting it into dormancy and then inducing a new flush of flowers.
I’ve purchased the dormant bulbs for my Grandmother, when she was still alive, and for my Mother. Theirs did well and bloomed beautifully. Grandma even sent a photo of her pretty flowers.
Last year I bought an Amaryllis bulb and potted it up. The photo on the box showed a beautiful pale pink flower, flawless and huge. I took it home and planted it. I watered and tended to it with care. The bud swelled up and it was kind of exciting, waiting for it to pop open. Alas, the bud blasted and I never got a bloom from it. I never knew what caused it.
So it was with a bit of cynicism that I bought another bulb this fall and potted it up. “I’ll probably just kill it,” I thought to myself. But I bought it anyway and figured what the heck. This year the bulb did just fine and the first blossom started to unfurl the day before yesterday!
It was just in time to wish me a Happy Valentine’s! It looks like the first flower stalk has 4 flower buds and the second stalk has 5. I spent a bit more on this bulb and I’m glad I did.
Some Things to Know About Amaryllis:
- Scientific name Amaryllis belladonna
- Native to South America and Africa
- Store dormant bulbs between 40 and 50 degrees F in a dry place.
- Soak the bulb for about an hour before planting.
- Plant with 1/3 of the bulb above the soil line.
- Keep in direct sun at temps between 68 and 80 degrees F.
- Do not allow the soil to remain constantly wet. Water when top 1″ of soil is dry.
- It takes approximately 7 to 10 weeks for Amaryllis to bloom from the time the bulb is planted.
- Flower stalks may need to be staked to prevent flopping.
- Rotate plant 1/4 turn every day because they will grow toward the sunlight.
- Water more once plant begins to flower.
Last fall I re-potted the pale pink Amaryllis and put it through a forced dormancy for a few weeks. Then I started watering it again and now it has a small flower stalk with a bud!
Have you ever grown Amaryllis? Have you tried to bring an old plant back into bloom?