How to Plant Amaryllis Bulbs
Do you love the look of amaryllis flowers (hippeastrum) but don’t know how to get started growing them? Have no fear! In this blog post, I will walk you through everything you need to know about planting amaryllis bulbs. Let’s get started!
The beautiful specimen below is Apple Blossom Amaryllis and usually can be easily found at most garden centers and big box stores.
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When Should Amaryllis Bulbs Be Planted
This depends on when you wish your Amaryllis to bloom. Pick a time and count back 6 to 8 weeks. That is the typical amount of time it takes for the Amaryllis to sprout and bloom.
The wide range of dates can encompass October – April, so if you like you could easily get a few bulbs and stagger bloom time for an endless display during the cold, dark day of winter.
What You Will Need to Plant Amaryllis Bulbs
First things first, let’s gather the supplies you will need to successfully plant your amaryllis bulb. You will need the following items:
- One healthy amaryllis bulb per pot
- One pot per bulb (I prefer terra cotta pots) that is at least 8 inches wide and 6 inches deep
- Good Quality Potting soil
- Some perlite for a base (optional, I find it helps prevent root rot or overwatering issues)
- A bright spot in your home
Now that we have all of the materials we need, let’s get started on planting the bulbs.
Step One: Choose & Prepare Your Pot
Plant the bulb in a pot that is one to two inches larger in diameter than the bottom of the bulb.
Potted amaryllis bulbs thrive under conditions in which they are slightly rootbound. Containers can be either terra cotta, clay, or plastic, and they must have drainage holes in the bottom.
If using a terra cotta or container with a large drainage hole you usually need to place something over the large hole to prevent soil from coming through.
You can use a shard of a broken pot or I like to use a paper coffee filter. (in the video I share what else I have been using)
If you are using a brand-new pot, put about 1/2 an inch of perlite in the bottom of the pot.
Next, fill it with potting soil until it is about halfway full. You will want 1/3 of the top portion of the Amaryllis bulb above the soil line.
If you are reusing a pot, make sure to empty it out and give it a good scrub with soap and water before adding fresh potting soil. (when disinfecting I use a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water)
I prefer terra cotta pots for Amaryllis as when they bloom they become quite top-heavy and the weight of the pots helps to keep them from toppling.
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Terra cotta pots have been around for ages and I mean ages but they have come in and out of popular use. Here I will share the amazing benefits of terra cotta pots!.
Step Two: Plant Your Bulb
Now it’s time to plant your bulb!
Place your bulb in the center of the pot and begin to fill in around it with more potting soil until it is covered two-thirds of the way. (some say 3/4’s of the way with 1/4 showing above the soil line)
Leaving a good portion of the bulb out of the soil keeps the bulb’s nose dry, which helps reduce red blotch infection, a fungal disease.
Make sure not to bury the bulb too deep, and of course, it should be pointing up when you are finished planting.
Top with a bit of gravel or horticultural sand to make it prettier and also help prevent fungal disease. (optional)
In the video at the end of this post, I share how I planted up an Amaryllis that did not have its roots cut back and how I planted the little baby bulbs that had grown alongside the mother bulb.
Step Three: Water Well and Place in a Sunny Spot
After planting, give your bulb a good drink of water so that the soil is moistened but not soggy.
Then, find a sunny spot in your home for your newly potted amaryllis.
A south-facing window is ideal, but any spot that gets six to eight hours of sunlight per day will do.
I don’t have a South facing window that is available for plants so I have mine in an East facing window and that works too.
Amaryllis like warm temperatures, 70-75 degrees F, for good growth while the roots form and leaves grow.
Reducing the temperature to the 60’s after blooms begin will help them to last longer. My home is never that cool so I am not sure how much longer this will help the blooms.
Step Four: Watch It Grow!
You may be surprised at how fast your Amaryllis bulb begins to grow. As you watch it grow keep the soil well-moistened but not wet.
In two to four weeks, you should see green tips poking through the soil.
Once your plant has sprouted, continue to water it about once a week.
Once blooms appear increase watering as needed. I like to check my potted plants with a moisture meter, for me, it is more accurate than the finger test.
Check on today’s price for the one I use here.
There is nothing better than winter blooms in your home to enjoy, so go ahead and give Amaryllis a try along with the many Zygocactus that are just as easy to grow!
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I do hope this blog post has inspired you to give growing amaryllis bulbs a try! These beautiful flowers are perfect for adding cheer to your home.
With just a few supplies and some simple instructions, anyone can successfully grow these stunning blooms. Give it a try and enjoy the rewards of your hard work!
What is your favorite Amaryllis to grow?
Here are some I love…
- Amaryllis Ferrari
- Apple Blossom Amaryllis (as seen in this post)
- Amaryllis Single Naranja (orange amaryllis)
- Amryllis Double Alaska (white double, on my wishlist!)