The Amaryllis is shipped as a bulb and looks much like an onion. The first time you witness these begin to grow their flower buds you will fall in love. It will take some patience, but with the right care and lighting the flowers will open to reveal the giant flower. Normally the bulbs are prepared so that it will be in bloom for the Christmas holiday.
These bulbs do not get planted under the soil but about halfway up the bulb. The pot should be twice the height of the bulb with only an inch or so between the bulb and the pot sides. Be careful not to get water into the layers of the bulb or the entire bulb might begin to rot. Let the soil dry between watering and reduce the amount of light when a bud starts to open. Fertilizer should be provided regularly while it is growing.
The Amaryllis can be a seasonal plant but if you let them continue to grow year round they will bloom again in their own time. The large flowers and strap like leaves make a great entry display or table centerpiece. These blooms will liven up those sad months when the plants that normally provide cheer will be taking their winter rest.
Once the flowers begin to fade do be discouraged, remove the flower only. Keeping as much of the green parts of the plant until the sections have died. This, and increasing the light will help the bulb get enough energy to store for the winter months. Thus, giving you a better chances of having the same bulb bloom again. Place the pot outside and gradually give it more light in the summer, continuing to feed and water it. The plant does not need to be removed from its pot and put into the ground.
If you are looking to force a flower around Christmas time, before the first frost bring the pot back inside. Watering will need to be drastically reduced in order to prevent rot and allow the bulb to go dormant. The dormant period should last four to six weeks for a long enough rest to produce your flowers. Keep the bulb in a cold dark place and check on it round Thanksgiving. When there are signs of growth resume your indoor care.
Time to get the bulb that just came, into some soil and see if planning for next year’s bloom pays off! Good luck to all of you and enjoy the holidays.