Thursday, November 10, 2011


Amaryllis, or Christmas lilies as they are commonly known, are in the stores now, or mail order companies are offering them for sale.  These lilies are forced for bloom time around Christmas if planted now--it takes a good 6-8 weeks for these stunning blooms to come to full bloom.   They come in convenient kits--which include the pot, soil and bulbs, or you can buy the bulbs individually.  If you do the latter, make sure that the pot you buy is only about 2 inches wider than the circumference of the bulb.  Use a good potting soil--I use Miracle Grow potting soil--with NO fertilizer added.  (The bulb comes with everything it needs to bloom, and so avoid fertilizers, or anything with high nitrogen content, which will give you lots of greenery, but no flowers). If your pot doesn't have drainage holes, make some before filling your pot with soil.  This will prevent over-watering.  To plant your amaryllis follow these seven easy steps:
  • Plant so that 1/3 of the bulb is above the soil, with only about 1 inch between the bulb and the pot on all sides.
  • Water after planting. Don't water again until leaves emerge. 
  • After leaves emerge, keep slightly damp--(plants need to photosynthesize). They do best in damp, but not wet, soil.
  • Keep in well-lit area. 
  • Consistently keep at 70-degree temps both day and night. If they are growing too fast, move them to a cooler room but still provide bright light. If you need them to bloom quicker, move pots to a warmer room.
  • Provide support for large bulbs. If they start to lean, rotate every day in the direction of your light source. You can gently tie the stems to a dowel with yarn (festive ribbon looks good as well).
  • During blooming, add a little more water to your pot.
If you want to keep your amaryllis for next season, move outdoors when danger of frost is over in the spring.  Continue to water.  Stop watering in August or September.  Cut back the foliage in October, or before the first frost.  Bring indoors, and replace 1/2 of the soil with new potting mix, adding 1 teaspoon of a good fertilizer.  I use 5-10-10.  When growth begins, water--and begin the cycle again!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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