Reusing Amaryllis Bulbs

amaryllis image by Davy HILLER from

Amaryllis flowers grow from bulbs and sprout long, tall stalks with colourful flower blossoms. When planted outdoors, the bulbs typically grow in early spring and then die back until the following year. Amaryllis bulbs are also commonly sold in pots during the winter months and grown indoors. Once the bulb stops blooming, many people think the plant is dead. In actuality, if properly cared for, the Amaryllis bulb can be reused and will regrow its foliage and blooms.

Wait until the flower blossoms of the Amaryllis plant have all dropped off and cut off the flower stalks 1 to 2 inches from the base of the plant using hand pruners. Do not cut the leaves. Wait an additional 4 1/2 months, which allows the leaves to store up food for the dormant period.

Stop watering and fertilising the Amaryllis bulb until the leaves turn yellow or brown and die back. Cut the leaves off 1 inch above the soil line using the hand pruners.

Dig up the Amaryllis bulb from the ground or the pot using a garden spade and brush off any excess dirt from the bulb with your fingers.

Insert the Amaryllis bulb into a brown paper bag that is turned sideways and fold the top of the bag over twice. You can place more than one bulb in each bag, but make sure that they do not touch each other.

Place the bag in a dark location that maintains a temperature of 10 to 12.8 degrees Celsius. This cooler temperature is required to make the Amaryllis bulb bloom again.

Wait until two months before you want the Amaryllis bulb to bloom again and remove the bulbs from the paper bag. For indoor plants this will be two weeks before Christmas and for outdoor plants this will be in late winter or very early spring.

Fill a plant pot three-quarters full of potting soil and dig a hole in the centre of the soil that is large enough to accommodate the bulb. Insert the Amaryllis bulb into the soil with the pointed end facing upward. Fill in the hole with soil and cover the top of the bulb with a quarter inch layer of soil. If planting outdoors, follow the same procedure, but choose a sunny, well-drained location.

Water the Amaryllis bulb until the soil around it is completely moist. After planting, water the soil only when it feels dry to the touch.

Watch the pot or planting area until you see signs of new, green growth. Apply a liquid houseplant fertiliser to the soil in the pot every two weeks, using the amount specified on the fertiliser bottle.

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