Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How to plant and grow amaryllis.

Amaryllis are easy to grow and they add brilliant color to the holiday season. Begin by selecting a premium quality bulb. Generally, the larger the bulb the more stems it will produce and the more flowers per stem.

Once you’ve selected a bulb, choose a container, one with drainage. Amaryllis bulbs like to be snug when potted, so select a pot that is just slightly larger than the bulb.

Amaryllis will grow in plastic pots, however, amaryllis can get top-heavy, so clay or ceramic help keep the bulb upright while its blooming and it looks better. Double potting is also an option. Just slip the plastic pot into a more decorative one, as shown here.
Add enough potting soil to the bottom of the pot, so that about 1/3 or so of the bulb is exposed. Fill in the rest of the pot with potting soil,then water thoroughly.
Place the pot in spot where the temperature stays above 60°. The warmer the temperature, the faster the bulb will root and bloom.
Check soil moisture and water when the first inch or so is dry. Generally, you should see flowers in 7-10 weeks. Start fertilizing the bulb after the first set of leaves appear. Use a water soluble fertilizer designed for blooming and rooting and feed the bulb every two weeks.

Growing amaryllis in stones and water is easy and you get to watch the root development. Traditionally, amaryllis bulbs are forced in glass containers. Select a vase or jar slightly larger than your bulb and add river rock, marbles, and decorative glass pieces. Trim off any existing roots and place the bulb on top of the marbles or rock. Amaryllis can get top-heavy when they bloom, so add some more rock or marbles around the bulb to help keep it in place. Forcing amaryllis in water takes a lot of energy from the bulb, more so than forcing in dirt.  What that means is it may take many seasons for the bulb to recover enough to bloom again. Pinch off the flowers after they have bloomed and cut the flower stalk down to the bulb, once the flowers have faded. At this point, large bulbs will often send up a second set of flowers. Once the second set of flowering is done, remove the flower stalk, but leave the foliage in place. The green leaves of the amaryllis gather food to replenish the bulb. 

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