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Darrell Blackwelder: Storing and replanting amaryllis

Many have decided to retain their spent amaryllis bulbs for another spectacular bloom over the upcoming holiday season. Expensive holiday bulbs can be kept and grown through the summer months for rebloom for the upcoming Christmas holidays. Many placed them outdoors for growth over the summer months. There are a few procedures needed to make the bloom rebloom for the upcoming holidays.

Bring the leafy bulb indoors and place in a dark location and it on its side for 6 to 8 weeks. The leaves will then wilt and die. With a sharp knife or pruners, carefully remove the leaves close to the bulb and trim excessively long roots. The bulb should be stored in a cool, dry location such as a basement in an area that is cool approximately 50-60 degrees. It is important not water the bulb during this resting period. Repot the bulb with fresh potting soil. The bulb may be too large for the previous pot, so plant the bulb in a pot one size larger than previous pot. All-purpose potting soils are an acceptable media. Place the bulb so that the top half is exposed. Keep the soil moist and place in a sunny, but cool location in the home, similar to locations for poinsettias. Ideal forcing temperatures are between 55 and 65 degrees, avoiding drafts and forced-air heating vents. Be patient as it will be a few weeks before grow resumes for another season of bloom.

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

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