The Life Cycle of an Amaryllis Bulb

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The Life Cycle of an Amaryllis Bulb
Amaryllis bulbs produce colourful flowers. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

People grow amaryllis bulbs for their colourful flowers. They come from tropical and subtropical climates, but people in colder climates can grow amaryllis by simulating warmer areas and seasonal rain differences indoors.

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Cycle

Amaryllis bulbs bloom and produce seed pods that can grow into bulbs that produce new flowers in a few years. After the blooms die, the bulb continues to grow leaves, which help the bulbs store up energy for blooms the next year. When the leaves die, the bulb has a period of dormancy before blooming again during the following year.

Time Frame

Since most gardeners in the U.S. grow amaryllis bulbs indoors or in greenhouses, they can force the flowers to bloom any time of the year. Many people choose to have them bloom during the holidays. Gardeners can either purchase new bulbs just before the winter holidays that come ready to grow and bloom or give last year's bulbs a dormancy period starting a few months before the holidays.

Care

Indoor gardeners in cool areas can force amaryllis bulbs to bloom by simulating outdoor weather in warm areas, while gardeners in tropical areas can leave bulbs outside to undergo their natural life cycle each year. The gardener should water the flower when it is blooming and growing leaves and withhold water to get its leaves to die off before entering its dormancy period. During dormancy, the gardener should store the bulb in a cool area and withhold water. After a few months of dormancy, plant the bulb in a pot and water it to get it to bloom again.

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