Caring for an Amaryllis: Our Favourite Holiday Bloom!

Tuesday Nov 30, 2021 By: Samantha

Caring for an Amaryllis: Our Favourite Holiday Bloom!

When we receive amaryllis bulbs at Westmount Florist, we know that holiday season has officially begun! Few bulbs are easier to grow than amaryllis — and few bloom with greater exuberance and beauty! Amaryllis season begins in November and hits its peak around Christmas, which makes this flower bulb the perfect gift of the season. In this post, we answer the most common questions we get asked about these unique flowers.

1) How often should I water my amaryllis?

Amaryllis is not a particularly thirsty flower. Periodically check the soil surface with your fingertips – it should be slightly damp. When the soil feels dry to the touch, add some water sparingly, taking care to water the soil and not the bulb itself. Water no-more than once a week. When the flower bud appears, your amaryllis may need more frequent watering, so be sure to check the soil surface more often.

2) How long will it take for my amaryllis to bloom?

If your plant already has a few inches of stem showing when purchased, you can expect to see flowers bloom in as little as 3 weeks! Your plant will thrive in a warm and bright indoor location. An amaryllis grown from a bulb with no existing shoots will take longer to bloom, about 8-11 weeks. Again, this will depend on the temperature the flower is growing in. Amaryllis bulbs are sensitive, so avoid exposing them to freezing temperatures. Cooler temperatures will slow down the development and active growth of an amaryllis.

Pro tip: Avoid placing your amaryllis next to ripening fruit or produce as they can emit ethylene gas, which will sterilize your buln and stop it from flowering! :(

3) How long can an amaryllis bulb live?

This is possibly our favourite fact about amaryllis bulbs! They are extremely long-living. Although the flowers fade each season, if properly cared for, the bulbs can be brought back into bloom for at least 20 years or more! Isn’t that just incredible?

4) How do I care for my amaryllis once it's finished blooming?

Reblooming an amaryllis is a perfect project for a beginner botanist! Follow these steps to preserve your bulb and encourage it to rebloom next season!

1 - Remove the faded blooms from the top of the stem and cut the stem back to the top of the bulb’s neck. Take care to cut only the stem and leave the strappy leaves growing from the bulb.
2 - Place it in indirect light, and water on a regular basis for at least 12-16 weeks. Fertilize it twice a month.
3 - When the foliage yellows and becomes floppy, cut it back to the bulb and stop watering. The plant has entered dormancy.
4 - Store your dry potted bulb in a cool dark place (12-15°C) for at least 8 weeks. A garage or basement is usually a good place!

Pro tip: If you want your flowers to bloom in time for Christmas, be sure to begin your bulbs dormancy period by early September!

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