How to Get an Amaryllis to Bloom
Did you get an amaryllis bulb kit around Christmastime? If so, you're probably sad that the beautiful flower is long gone. Many people give up on their amaryllis bulbs and throw out the plant once it's done flowering. However, you can get your amaryllis to bloom again. It might not be in time for the holidays (unless you time it very carefully). But holidays or not, it's fun to to see your plant bloom again, and who doesn't love a beautiful amaryllis flower? Here's how to get your amaryllis to bloom an encore this year!
First, a word about growing amaryllis. You can typically find kits at nursery and garden centers starting in November. Most amaryllis are sold as holiday plants. Each kit includes a bulb, like the one shown below, a pot and a potting mixture. This one came with a mix called coir, which is made from coconut shell husks. Follow the directions to plant your amaryllis correctly and make sure it gets plenty of sunlight. Turn the pot a quarter turn each day to help it grow straight and tall.
Each plant produces one or more buds from the central stem. The other leaves should be allowed to grow to produce food for the plant. Once your amaryllis has flowered, wait until the flowers die back naturally, then snip them off with scissors. Keep the plant in a bright, sunny location. Keep it well watered. It will continue to grow like a house plant, developing next year's flower inside the bulb.
About 10 to 12 weeks before you hope to coax your amaryllis into flowering again, stop watering it. I know this is going to feel really mean, but trust me, it works. Let the leaves die off. My amaryllis, above, died all the way back except for one leaf...and then I started watering it again. In weeks two and three, I gave it a little 10-10-10 liquid house plant fertilizer while watering it. Now there is a new flower developing from the center!! In about 4 weeks I should see my amaryllis blooming again.
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