Storing Amaryllis Bulbs-Amaryllis Bulbs Regrowth Cycle

Successfully storing amaryllis bulbs means recreating their natural growth cycle. In the wild, amaryllis grows in tropical climates where it experiences nine months of wet weather and three months of dry conditions. During wet weather, the amaryllis blooms and thrives, storing energy for next year's growth. When conditions turn dry, the amaryllis loses its above ground growth and goes dormant. 

Tips for Storing Amaryllis Bulbs
Although it has a reputation for being a finicky re-bloomer, you can successfully store amaryllis if you keep its growth cycle in mind. The following tips will help:

  • Plan your bloom time. Wait 6 to 12 weeks after planting amaryllis bulbs before expecting to see a bloom. The average bloom period is from early winter to early spring. To get your amaryllis to bloom during a specific period (Christmas and Valentine's Day are popular), plant your amaryllis bulb about 8 weeks in advance.
  • Good drainage is easy to find. Plant your amaryllis bulb in a well-drained potting medium. Equal parts potting soil, peat moss and sand is a great starting mixture. Your pot should allow about 1 inch of room around the diameter of your bulb. Interestingly, amaryllis actually performs better if its pot is a bit snug.
  • Water well, and rotate. Water your amaryllis thoroughly when it is dry to the touch-avoid over watering. When the flower bud begins to emerge, rotate the container daily to keep the plant from leaning toward the light.
  • Enjoy your blooms! An amaryllis may have as many as four flower stalks with several blooms on each stalk. To extend the life of your blooms, store your amaryllis in a cool room at night and keep it out of direct sunlight during daylight hours. When the blooms fade, remove the flower stalk with a sharp knife at the top of the bulb. Don't remove any leaves-your amaryllis will need them to store energy for next year.
  • Take it outside. When the threat of frost has passed, put your amaryllis outdoors and continue to water and fertilize it throughout the summer. Before the threat of frost returns, bring the plant back indoors.
  • Prepare for storage. Place your amaryllis in a well-lit location and discontinue watering. At this point, you're recreating the dry period. Your amaryllis will respond by losing its leaves and going dormant. Once the leaves have dropped, you can remove the bulb for storage. Keep your amaryllis bulb in a cool, dark place until you're ready to replant.
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