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. For gardeners, winter can be long. Many avid gardeners
just can't wait until spring to partake in their favorite hobby. Many
people need to grow something during the long winter. 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.
They got this name because there are no leaves when in bloom.
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.
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.