The Habitat
Share to PinterestTaking Care of of Your Amaryllis

Taking Care of of Your Amaryllis

By Jo Marshall
Share to PinterestTaking Care of of Your Amaryllis

The amaryllis is a vibrant and alluring flower that's often the center of attention. Grown outdoors in warm climates, it's also enjoyed as an easy-care houseplant throughout the colder months.

Enhance any space by growing amaryllis. Once you see how this flowering masterpiece upgrades your home's aesthetics and mood, it will become a staple of your seasonal decor.


Bringing your amaryllis home

Around the holiday season, many stores already sell pre-potted amaryllis plants. If you pick one up, use caution when transporting it. Depending on the variety, the amaryllis could already be established and quite tall. This will make for an awkward commute, so it's ideal to have a passenger holding the plant.

If you're going to start growing from scratch, it's important to pick the right bulb: make sure it's sturdy and free from rot or mold. Generally speaking, the larger the bulb, the larger the amaryllis blooms will be. Larger bulbs may also produce more blossoms on a stem, so consider your intended display area when making your selection.

Share to PinterestAmaryllis Bulbs
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Planting your amaryllis

Glass or ceramic containers work best for amaryllis, and drainage holes are a must. The diameter depends on the size of the bulb. Usually it only needs about an inch of soil around it, so a 6-inch pot is a good starting point. If you intend on planting a few bulbs together, you'll have to go larger. Three medium-sized bulbs, for example, will do well in a 12-inch pot.

Soil should be compost-rich and loose enough to accommodate the roots. Soak the bulb in lukewarm water for about two hours before planting. When you put it in soil, leave about a quarter of the bulb exposed. Pat the soil gently, and water only minimally.

Enhance the growth and bloom of your amaryllis from the start by mixing Organic Plant Magic into the soil.

Share to PinterestTop view of woman hands holding pot with planted bulb of Amaryllis in a pot
Tatiana Foxy / Getty Images


A healthy start: sunlight requirements for amaryllis

Your amaryllis loves light, though indirect lighting is best to preserve blossoms as long as possible. The plant will thrive living in a window that has a lot of sun exposure during the winter months. Just remember to turn the pot a few inches every couple of days to evenly distribute the sunlight.

Blooms will seek out the sun, so you may want to stake the plant so it doesn't lean too far toward them.

Ensure your amaryllis receives the optimal light for vibrant blooms by using a LORDEM Grow Light.

Share to PinterestWhite Amaryllis Against Window
Merethe Svarstad Eeg / EyeEm / Getty Images


A healthy start: watering

Once your amaryllis establishes itself in its new home, it's somewhat drought-resistant. However, you'll need to get it to this level first by keeping the soil moist but not overwatered. Once you have a well-adjusted sprout, you can cut back watering. At this point, let the top few inches of the soil dry out each time before you water, but never let the soil dry out completely.

Keep your amaryllis perfectly hydrated and beautifully displayed with an AUGOSTA 3 Tier Plant Stand.

Share to PinterestWoman hand watering amaryllis using water can
Tatiana Foxy / Getty Images


A healthy start: humidity levels

Your amaryllis loves heat and humidity — it's a tropical plant native to warm, moist climates, after all. Since this plant lives indoors during the winter, you need to ensure that it stays happy. Some owners like to use a heat mat underneath the pot to distribute an even amount of warmth below the soil.

Share to PinterestRed Amaryllis Flowers Covered With Dew
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A healthy start: special nutrients

Share to Pinterestwoman is spraying a flower of red amaryllis

If you're seasonally growing amaryllis with no intention of putting it into dormancy, then there's no need to fertilize: its bulb contains all the nutrients it craves. But if you want to regrow the plant next year, then you should fertilize it with a liquid solution as you would any other houseplant.


Healthy growth: pruning your plant

When an amaryllis flower begins to die on a stem, remove the shriveled blooms. This will redirect power and efficiency to the plant, which will, in turn, produce stronger and better flowers. Make sure to leave the stem though, as it helps boost the plant's energy, acting as a temporary leaf. When it begins to die and turn yellow, you can cut it down to about two inches above the bulb.

Share to Pinterestlarge red Amaryllis flowers bloom on the windowsill
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Healthy growth: repotting your amaryllis

Transferring your amaryllis to another pot isn't a complicated task. The key is to use the proper materials.

You need a heavier pot to counter the flower's size. Make sure it has plenty of drainage holes, and you can add stones on the bottom for additional weight. Put in your soil, then the bulb, leaving one-third of it exposed. Water immediately.

Share to Pinterestred and yellow amaryllis flower blooming in a flowerpot
wjarek / Getty Images


Can I propagate my amaryllis?

You can propagate your amaryllis in a few different ways. They do produce seeds, so this is one method, though it takes a long time for a plant to sprout from seed.

Dividing the bulb is another, speedier option. Sometimes this isn't necessary, as amaryllis will form a daughter bulb next to the original that you can remove and plant on its own.

Share to PinterestAmaryllis flowers on windowsill
Johner Images / Getty Images


Common diseases

Share to PinterestSpraying red amaryllis flower with liquid

Fungal diseases aren't uncommon for the amaryllis, and they usually stem from overwatering. Tractosis, for example, manifests as dark spots on the leaves from excess water. Use a fungicide on the plant if you see this occurring.

Gray rot and root rot also happen because of overwatering. In either case, you should replant the amaryllis and change the soil to avoid losing the plant.


Common pests

Shatter-pan is a common parasite to the amaryllis that shows up as brown spots on the leaves. Aphids are another offender, and the colony will usually be noticeable on the leaves. They're white, and another visible threat, the thrip, is brown.

All of these can eventually destroy the plant. Try a dish soap and water solution to get rid of them. If this doesn't work, you'll have to go with an insecticide.

Share to PinterestTwo green aphids on a leaf
Heather Broccard-Bell / Getty Images


Displaying your amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers have a unique feature. Due to the nature of the bloom cycle, cut flowers tend to last about two weeks in a vase, which is longer than they survive on the plant. Because of such a quirk, they're a sought-after mid-winter floral display.

Many people use amaryllis as fresh dining room centerpieces or coffee table focal points to brighten and enhance the ambiance.

Share to PinterestBeautiful red amaryllis flowers and Christmas decor on wooden table
Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images


Similar plants

Part of the Amaryllidaceae family, the amaryllis is related to the daffodil. They have a multitude of similar characteristics including chemical composition, aesthetic features, and they both stem from bulbs.

African lilies, snowdrops, and cape tulips are also closely related to the amaryllis. Taking it a step further, there are a number of non-flowering plants in the family. Onions, garlic, chives, leeks, and shallots are all amaryllis relatives. But the closest flower the amaryllis resembles is the hippeastrum.

Share to Pinterestdaffodils
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Cautions and additional information

The entire amaryllis plant is poisonous to mammals, causing mild to moderate symptoms in most cases. Bulbs and below-ground stems have the most toxins, but leaves and flower petals are still dangerous. If you suspect a pet or human has amaryllis poisoning, contact a medical professional right away.

The amaryllis has sharp microscopic calcium oxalate crystallines that will irritate the skin if it is touched excessively. If ingested, this oxalate will also harm the lips, mouth, and throat. But more than this, a lycorine alkaloid in the amaryllis will induce vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

Share to PinterestHappy mature couple on a couch in a living room at home - focus on the red amaryllis flower in the foreground
ArtmannWitte / Getty Images


Varieties of amaryllis

There are quite a few stunning varieties of amaryllis. Each has attention-getting petals with dramatic variegation and striations. Popular choices include ice queen, magic green, jewel, samba, magnum, desire, clown, apple blossom, orange sovereign, and nymph. They all work wonderfully in a wintery home setting or when grown outdoors in a warmer climate.

Share to PinterestAmaryllis nymph (Hippeastrum) double flowering on grey white neutral background with gold paint grass
sandorgora / Getty Images


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