Celebrating the Seasons

From March 2008 E-newsletter

Encouraging Amaryllis Rebloom

Now that the flowers on your once-beautiful amaryllis have faded, what should you do with the plant? With proper care you can keep your amaryllis growing and encourage it to bloom next year, just in time for the holidays. Here are five easy steps.

  1. Remove flowers as they fade. Once all flowers on the stalk have finished blooming, cut off the flower stalk near the base, leaving the plant's strappy leaves intact. The leaves will continue to photosynthesize, building back the bulb's food reserves.
  2. Place the plant in bright light and continue watering as necessary to keep the soil slightly moist. Feed twice monthly with an all-purpose organic plant fertilizer. Once the threat of frost has passed, move the amaryllis outdoors. You can keep the plant in its container or plant it directly into the garden. Reinvigorate a pot-bound plant by repotting to a slightly larger container, using fresh potting soil. Keep the plant watered throughout the growing season.
  3. In the fall before the first frost, repot the bulb into a container no more than 2 inches larger than the bulb's diameter. Adjust the height of the plant so that the top third of the bulb is above the soil surface.
  4. Bring the newly potted amaryllis back indoors, place in a cool location, and stop watering. The foliage will begin to die back. Once the leaves have turned yellow, cut them off and move the pot to a dark room or closet to allow the bulb to go dormant.
  5. Just after Thanksgiving, bring the potted bulb out of hiding, place in a sunny south window, and water well. Soon new leaves will begin to appear, and in a few weeks you'll get another blooming show!
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