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How to Grow and Care for Amaryllis Flowers

Type: Flowering Bulb

Latin Name: Liliaceae/Amaryllidaceae

Why do so many people enjoy growing Amaryllis indoors? For starters, they are an easy bulb to grow. Forcing Amaryllis to bloom indoors is a snap. Many garden stores carry them boxed, potted and ready to grow by just adding water. Second, they have big, bright, trumpet shaped blooms cheering up the indoor winter scene. And, many people need to grow something during the long winter. For gardeners, winter can be long. Growing indoor  house plants help us to get through the long "off season".

The word Amaryllis comes from the Greek word for "sparkling". They do just that, brightening up a spring lawn, or adding color indoors on a cold, drab winter's day. Big, cheerful, trumpet shaped blooms come in red, pink, yellow and a few combinations of these colors. A single flower blooms six to eight weeks after planting. Plants can grow up to two feet.

Amaryllis are native to the West Cape region of Africa. They can be grown outdoors in frost free areas. They also can be grown in colder regions. In cold regions, pull up the bulbs before winter, and store them until spring.

Other Names: Amaryllis is also called Naked Lady Flower.


How to Grow Amaryllis Plants:

Plant Amaryllis bulbs with the upper third above ground in good, rich potting soil. The plant and bloom grows big. Put just one bulb into a six inch or larger pot. Use containers slightly bigger than the circumference of the bulb. They do not need a lot of soil and growing space indoors. The pot should be heavy as the plant can grow up to two feet. It should also have holes in the bottom for good drainage.

Whether indoors or out, your Amaryllis will benefit by as much sunlight as you can provide it.

Planning on keeping your bulbs? Apply a light dose of fertilizer once or twice, especially after blooming. The bulb stores all the food it needs for this year's bloom. The fertilizer helps the plant store food for next year.

If growing outdoors, plant the bulbs singly, or put two or three together in a group.

The flower stalk and flower will emerge first, followed by leaves. Do not cut the plant back until the leaves have yellowed and died. If grown outdoors, provide a layer of mulch to protect them from frost.


Propagation:

If the plant is allowed to grow until the leaves yellow, the bulb will bloom for years . Like other bulbs, the plant needs time to grow and store energy in the bulb for next season. New plants are propagated by separating bulbs or from new seeds.

You can promote new seed growth. When the flower blooms, gently hand pollinate the flower. After the plant dies off, you can harvest the seed head. Open the seeds and allow to dry thoroughly before storing them.






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