Darrell Blackwelder: Amaryllis – worth the effort

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 10, 2019

Once indoors, place the bulb a dark location on its side for 6 to 8 weeks.

A lady at Richards BBQ has an amaryllis bulb that she had brought indoors after being outdoors over the summer.

It was a large, expensive bulb that had grown large leaves over the summer. She wanted to know what she needed to do to make it re-bloom for Christmas.

Encouraging summer grown amaryllis bulbs to rebloom will take some patience.

Once indoors, place the bulb a dark location on its side for 6 to 8 weeks. This sleeping period allows the leaves to wilt and die. Remove all the withered and dried leaves close to the base of the bulb with sharp pruners.

The bulb should be stored in a cool, dry location such as a basement in an area that is cool approximately 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do not water the bulb during this resting period. When you’re ready for bloom initiation, repot the bulb with fresh potting soil.

The bulb may have grown and will be too large for the previous pot, so plant the bulb in a pot one size larger than previous pot, using an all-purpose potting soil.

Position the bulb so that the top half is exposed. Keep the soil moist in a bright room, but cool location in the home near the poinsettias. Ideal forcing temperatures are between 55-and 65-degrees Fahrenheit, avoiding drafts and forced-air heating vents.

Large shoots will emerge in a few weeks and eventually developing a large flower.

Darrell Blackwelder deblackw@ncsu.edu is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.