The Amaryllis flower is often associated with Holland and that area of the world, but it turns out that in 1828, a young doctor was searching for medicinal plants in Chile when he came across some very vibrant Amaryllis plants that were simply breathtaking. Today, these plants are known for their bright colorful blooms that add a quiet comfort to family gatherings and homes around the holidays. The most common coloration is white with bright red crimson veins, though purple and pink variations can also be seen in nature. Getting an Amaryllis to grow and bloom properly indoors can be a difficult task, but I have created this guide to give you the tips that you will need to successfully grow these plants in your home.
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1. When you plant Amaryllis, do not use an excessively large pot because the plant likes to be confined a bit. There should not be more than an inch or two of excess space between the side of the pot and the bulb. This small space will encourage a better growth cycle.
2. Make sure that at least 1/3 of the bulb is sticking out of the surface of the soil. If the bulb is planted too deeply in the soil, it will stunt its growth.
3. The soil in the pot should always remain moist, not sopping wet, simply moist. In addition, never pour water directly onto the bulb of the plant when you are watering it because that can cause the bulb to rot.
4. Warm sunlight will promote blooms, so when it is blooming season, a south-facing window will do wonders for your plant. Once the blooms start to form, you can sustain them a bit longer by taking the plant out of direct sunlight for a period of time.
5. The stalk of the Amaryllis plant tends to lean towards the sunlight as it blooms, so to make sure that it does not lean too much in one direction, you will need to turn the plant occasionally. If at any point the stalk seems a bit too unstable, try tying it to a wooden stake to give it more stability.
6. Once the blooming period comes to an end, you will need to cut the stalks just above the bulb and place it in a cool dark place until you see new signs of life springing from the stem of the plant. Roots will begin to appear after two to three weeks in the dark, cool atmosphere. During this period of time, make sure that you do not water the plant more than once a week because it can damage the bulb.
7. Once roots form, you can place the plant in a bright warm room. Leave it here for a period of six to eight weeks and new blooms will begin to appear. These blooms will last for at least four to six weeks.
8. Amaryllis plants like rich soil, but they also like soil that drains well so creating a mix is the best option for these plants to thrive. I like a combination of manure, sand, and leaf mold, but since this is an indoor plant, some may not like the smell that this mixture brings into your living space, so a compost and grit combination is a perfect mixture as well.
9. The Amaryllis plant likes warmer temperatures, so unless it is in its dormant stage before it blooms, the plant should be kept in a room with partial sun. It likes temperatures that are about 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius, so the average room temperature in most homes should be sufficient. In addition, make sure that the plant is not positioned next to a drafty window or door because the sudden cold drafts could damage the plant.
10. The larger the bulb is, the more offshoots it will produce. Do not replant the large bulbs unless they absolutely need a bigger pot because disturbing the roots of the plant is typically what causes the plant to die. An Amaryllis that lives for two years will produce baby bulblets that you can place in a pot.