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Growing Amaryllis Outdoors

If you live in warmer place, you may grow Amaryllis bulbs outdoors in the garden as long as there is absolutely no chance of even a light frost. They require well-draining, neutral pH soil, at least six hours of bright filtered sunlight and good air circulation. In the late fall, plant the bulbs with the neck of the bulb at, or just a little higher, than the soil level, spaced 12″ to 16″ apart. Water lightly after planting. If it hasn’t rained, wait until green top growth appears to lightly water the bed. If the surface of the bed has dried out and rain is infrequent, lightly water. Top dress the Amaryllis plantings with a monthly application of a 10-10-10 fertilizer after foliage appears. Amaryllis bulbs should not be planted in areas with in-ground irrigation systems. From July through October, do not supplement rainfall with watering. Cut back and remove any yellow or dead foliage.

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Potting the Bulbs

Pot individual bulbs in well-draining, cozy pots in sterile, neutral pH potting soil with at least the top quarter or third of the bulb above the surface of the soil to avoid water collection in the sprout. A cozy pot means that there shouldn’t be much more than about an inch of space between the bulb and the pot. Amaryllis flower better when their roots are pot bound. Tamp down the soil lightly. Give the bulb one drink of room temperature water around the base of the bulb. Place the pot in direct sunlight at room temperature with good air circulation and normal to low humidity. Avoid placing the pot in an area with cold drafts. Do not water again until green growth appears. Over-watering could inhibit root and plant growth.

Once the Amaryllis starts to grow, water evenly and consistently around the base of the bulb at soil level (never┬ámist). Make sure to discard any collected water in the pot saucer to avoid root or bulb rot. Brighter sunlight creates the best coloration and a more proportionate plant. Most varieties yield two, and sometimes even three, flowering stems in succession. Sword-like foliage may appear before, during or after flowering. You may need to install structural support for the huge flowering stems. We like to make pot-size teepees from twisted twigs and branches we’ve collected in the woods to secure the Amaryllis stem’s growth and help to keep it balanced in its pot. You may also top dress pots with stones to weigh down the pot to prevent it from tipping over when the plant is in full bloom. If they grow too tall, you may cut them: Amaryllis are among the best, most long-lasting of cut flowers. After the flowers have faded, cut them off to prevent unnecessary seed formation, but leave the stalk in place to die back naturally. It helps to feed the bulb.

If you want to display more than one Amaryllis together, we suggest sinking individual pots at the same rate of growth in a basket or cachepot. The pots can be covered with green Spanish moss or preserved reindeer moss. It looks beautiful, and the Amaryllis may still be grown in cozy pots that is best for them from a horticultural perspective.

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Growing Amaryllis in Pebbles and Water

Truth be told, we’re kind of old-fashioned, and don’t prefer to grow Amaryllis in pebbles and water, but it can be done. If you intend to do this, please consider how tall Amaryllis stems stretch, and how heavy their flowers become. Choose a sturdy container that is more like a big glass hurricane candle cylinder than a vase (no pedestal or foot). Nothing too fragile or tippy. The general method is to place about four inches of river stones in the bottom of the cylinder and to place the Amaryllis bulb, roots down, on top of the stones. Then, carefully fill river stones in around the bulb and over the bulb, leaving the top quarter of the bulb uncovered. Very carefully add water, making sure that no water collects in the sprout, or nose, of the bulb. Only fill the cylinder with two or three inches of water because the water cannot touch the root base of the bulb or it will rot. You must keep the water level even and consistent and must never allow the roots to dry out. The water can become funky as old roots decompose. Amaryllis grown in water are not suitable for more than one season of growth and should be discarded after blooming.