Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Re-blooming Amaryllis -- Just Add Water

An amaryllis bulb is nature’s equivalent of a re-chargeable battery. In the fall stop watering to push the bulb into dormancy (sleep). Most leaves wither and die within 4-6 weeks. Remove a dried leaves (for neatness). The bulb must remain dormant for a minimum of 8 weeks. Store the pot anywhere, in a closet shelf or out in the garage, provided the storage temperature does not drop below freezing (32° F).
Every few weeks, restart a potted amaryllis bulb. Place in an east or south-facing window of your home, and add water. Pre-mix a water-soluble fertilizer in the water according to manufacturer’s directions. First watering requires that you sink the pot bottom in a pail of water/fertilizer for 2-3 hours to fully adsorb water and nutrients. Turn the pot weekly so the plant and flower stalk grows straight up.
Your amaryllis will bloom in 4-6 weeks. Enjoy it! After flowering, continue to water and feed the plant until it can be moved outside onto a sunny deck or patio in mid to late spring after the frost danger has past. Your amaryllis will flourish through the summer months and will be fully recharge by autumn.
Repot your amaryllis every 3-4 years in the fall after dry-down. Divide and give away the extra bulbs to garden friends to enjoy. I enjoy shopping for new amaryllis bulbs at local garden shops and on-line at

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