Add color to your home with an amaryllis

Talking Plants

University of Minnesota, Clay County

Amaryllis is a prized indoor plant that can produce 4-10 inch trumpet shaped flowers born on 1-2 foot tall stalks. Amaryllis come in a variety of colors such as red, pink, white, and salmon. Amaryllis is easy to grow and with a little effort they will bloom year after year. Because of their beauty and ease of growth, amaryllis are great plants to give as a gift.
Amaryllis is typically purchased as a bulb although some garden centers carry potted bulbs in various stages of bloom. When purchasing a bulb, select the largest one available. The larger the bulb, the more stalks and blooms it will produce. The bulb should be firm to touch with no visible signs of decay or physical damage. Plant the bulb in a pot that is one inch wider and twice as tall as the bulb to allow for root development. The pot should have one or more holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain. Use a potting medium that drains well and is high in organic matter. Plant the bulb so that at least one-third to one-half of the bulb sits above the potting medium. Water thoroughly after planting and place in a warm sunny spot. Once growth begins, apply a water-soluble fertilizer high in phosphorus and follow label guidelines for rate and frequency of application. Once the flower buds have colored, move the plant out of direct sunlight to prolong the flowering period.
Amaryllis will bloom year after year if the bulb stores enough nutrients. To prepare the bulb for the next bloom cycle, move the amaryllis to the brightest spot indoors to maximize photosynthesis. Remove the flowers after they fade by cutting them off the flower stalk. Remove the flower stalk after it turns yellow. Amaryllis may be brought outside after the danger of frost has passed. Acclimate the amaryllis to the outdoors by placing in the shade and gradually moving to areas receiving more light. When fully acclimated, the plant should receive six hours of full sun. Fertilize monthly while outside using a balanced houseplant fertilizer and bring indoors before the first frost in the fall.
Amaryllis will naturally bloom without a resting period. If a particular blooming time is desired, give the amaryllis a resting period of 8-12 weeks. Store the plant in a dark place, do not water, and remove the foliage after it has dried. After 8-12 weeks, or if new growth is observed, bring the plant into a bright location and begin watering. Flowers usually develop in 4-6 weeks.
If you want a splash of color this winter, try growing an amaryllis. With a little effort, it will bring colorful blooms for years to come.

University of Minnesota, Clay County 218.299.5020.
Check out our website at https://local.extension.

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