Native to the tropics, the amaryllis is a member of the plant genus Hippeastrum. Easy to bloom, amaryllis bulbs are usually planted in the ground during the early fall, blooming for seven to 10 weeks throughout the spring and summer months. Amaryllis bulbs can also produce stunning flowers when forced to bloom indoors, during any time of the year. In fact, amaryllis bulbs respond just as well to a vase of water as they do moist soil. Amaryllis bulbs bloom quite easily and require little care once blooming is in progress.
Choose a clear glass vase for your amaryllis bulb. If you have more than one bulb, choose one container per bulb. Clear glass amaryllis bulb vases, sold in garden centres are perfect for forcing amaryllis bulbs to bloom. An hourglass shaped vase measuring 10 inches tall with a 6-inch diameter should suffice.
Line the bottom of the vase with a 4-inch layer of decorative pebbles or stones. If you have collected the stones outdoors, make sure to rinse them with water, removing any dirt or debris, before placing them in the bottom of the vase.
Examine the amaryllis bulb before depositing it in the neck of the vase. Remove any dried out or damaged roots by cutting them off at the base of the bulb with a pair of sharp scissors. Allow only white roots extending from the amaryllis bulb.
Place the amaryllis bulb in the neck of the vase. Fill the vase with water, keeping the water at a level approximately 1 inch below the amaryllis bulb. The roots of the bulb will float freely in the water, however.
Set the vase in a sunny window or area that receives bright sunlight. Maintain a temperature above 15.6 degrees Celsius in order to promote blooming. The warmer the room the better. The amaryllis bulb will begin to develop shoots within two to eight weeks. Turn the vase clockwise once a week to ensure that the amaryllis flower receives adequate sunlight as it blooms.
When choosing a clear glass vase for the amaryllis bulb, make sure that the bulb rests upon the neck or midsection of the hourglass, without slipping down. This will give the roots of the bulb plenty of room to grow below the midsection. Dispose of the amaryllis bulbs after they bloom. Amaryllis bulbs will only bloom once before expiring. A ¼-inch layer of aquarium charcoal added to the pebbles inside of the vase will help to control odours that can develop during the growth process.
Do not allow the water in the vase to reach the bottom of the bulb. Doing so will cause the amaryllis bulb to rot. Only the roots of the bulb should penetrate the water.