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Amaryllis: Great Holiday Gift and Easy to Rebloom

By Martha Kirk, Colorado Master Gardener

I remember the first time I received an amaryllis as a gift. Wow! The flowers were spectacular. And they came in so many colors from red to pink, white, and yellow. Little did I know that the bulb could rebloom had I saved it and followed a few simple steps.

Photo: csuhort.blogspot.com

The amaryllis sold in garden centers is technically Hippeastrum. Taxonomy aside, there are over 100 “amaryllis” hybrids to choose from with varying flower shapes and colors.

“Amaryllis” is sold as a dormant bulb or as a kit with potting medium and container. Buy the largest bulb you can since that means more flowers. Check for intact brown, papery layers and discard any with mold or injury. Amaryllis bulbs like to be potbound. Select a tight-fitting pot with drainage and only one inch of space between the pot and bulb. Use a porous potting mix. Water thoroughly at planting and don’t water again until you see green.

All hybrids of amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are evergreen; they grow foliage naturally throughout the year unless forced into dormancy. They flower well without dormancy but must have chilling period of 8-10 weeks at 40-55°F.

Hippeastrum Blushing Bride, Photo: Paula Szilard

Here’s an easy way to get them to rebloom:

  • Cut dead flower stalks.
  • Place outdoors in part shade after first spring frost and allow foliage to grow all summer.
  • Water regularly (once daily in heat).
  • Fertilize once a week with 20-20-20 formula.
  • Bring inside just before first fall frost.
  • Place in cool, sunny location.
  • If first frost is early, chill further in sunny unheated garage or unheated porch.
  • Once indoors, fertilize just 1x/month.

To induce dormancy so they rebloom for the holidays, follow the steps above except:

  • Bring inside just before first fall frost.
  • Place in a cool, dark location of 40-55°F.
  • Do not water. Cut foliage when it turns brown.
  • After 8-10 weeks, move to warm, sunny location and water to keep soil moist but not wet.

See more details about amaryllis here, here and here.

Behold the beauty and enjoy.

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