How to Save an Amaryllis Bulb

Written by karen carter
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Amaryllis bulbs produce large lily-like flowers in a wide variety of colours like red, pink and white. This perennial bulb can flower up to 75 years if the proper care is used. One good quality amaryllis bulb can set six flowers on a single stalk. Amaryllis bulbs are frequently forced for winter blossoms. After blooming, the bulbs can be saved for flowering the next year.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Amaryllis
  • Sharp knife
  • Water
  • Houseplant fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Cut off the flower stalk with a sharp knife once the flowers begin to die. Leave 1 to 2 inches of the stem above the bulb. Do not cut the leaves.

  2. 2

    Move the amaryllis to a sunny window preferably a southern-facing one. The leaf will keep producing energy to be stored in the bulb for next season's bloom. This is the way the amaryllis replenishes its food supply.

  3. 3

    Water the amaryllis when the surface of the soil is almost dry. Use water-soluble houseplant fertiliser every 2 to 4 weeks to feed the amaryllis while it is actively growing.

  4. 4

    Place the amaryllis in a dark location by late September. Withhold the water and let the amaryllis go dormant. An unused refrigerator in the garage is an ideal spot to use as cold storage for bulbs.

  5. 5

    Cut off the foliage once it turns brown. Amaryllis needs to be exposed to 50 to 55 degrees F. for 8 to 10 weeks for it to flower again.

  6. 6

    Place the amaryllis in a well-lighted location where the temperature is around 21.1 to 23.8 degrees C. Water the bulb and keep it moist to start the growth cycle again.

Tips and warnings

  • Amaryllis likes to be root-bound. The plant pot containing the bulb should be just large enough to hold the bulb plus an inch of soil on all sides. Place 2 to 3 pieces of broken clay pot or 1/2 inch of gravel to help weigh the pot down so the amaryllis does not tip over when it blooms.
  • Check you amaryllis frequently for insects and diseases. Red blotch or leaf scorch is a common plant disease that affects amaryllis. It appears as red spots on leaves, flower stems and flowers. Leaf scorch disease deforms leaves and stems. The bulbs have large, red blotches that rot easily.

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