Summer amaryllis bulbs will rebloom for holiday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 31, 2021

Many have decided to retain their spent amaryllis bulbs last winter for another spectacular holiday bloom. These Christmas bloomers are expensive and can be saved and grown through the summer months to rebloom for the upcoming Christmas holidays. Bulbs are placed outdoors for rapid growth during the summer months and now it’s time to bring them indoors with a few procedures to help them rebloom.

Bring the leafy bulb indoors and place in a dark location and turn the pot on its side for 6 to 8 weeks. The soil dries out rapidly and the leaves wilt and turn brown. Use a sharp knife or pruners and carefully remove the brown leaves close to the top of the bulb and trim off excessively long roots. Store the bulb in a cool, dry location such as a basement with temperatures approximately 50-60 degrees. It is important to not water the bulb during this resting period. Repot the amaryllis with fresh potting soil. The summer bulb may be too large for the previous pot, so plant the bulb in a pot one size larger than previous pot. 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 growth 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