Amaryllis Care

Caring for an Amaryllis bulb after it blooms

By: Sandy Feather 2010
Penn State Extension

Q. I received an amaryllis as a gift, but there were no directions for caring for it. Can you give me some care suggestions for amaryllis?

A. Amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.) is a lovely flowering bulb that is commonly forced into bloom for the holiday season. While it is blooming, bright, indirect light is best to keep the flowers in bloom for as long as possible direct sun will shorten the life of the flowers. Cooler room temperatures (60 65 degrees) also lengthen the life of the blooms.

Carry the pot to a sink so you can water until water drains from the holes in the bottom of the pot. If the pot is covered with foil, remove the foil and water, then replace the foil when excess water has stopped draining from the pot. If you allow it to stand in water in the foil, it will eventually cause the bulb to rot. Allow the soil to dry between waterings but never allow the foliage to wilt.


Once your amaryllis is finished blooming, remove the flower stalks by carefully cutting the stems just above the bulb. This directs the plants energy to the bulb rather than seed production so that you will be able to enjoy those glorious flowers for years to come.

Be careful not to damage the foliage while cutting off the flower stalks, because it is responsible for producing the nutrient reserves that nourish the bulb. (This is the same reason you should not remove foliage from hardy outdoor bulbs such as daffodil and tulips until it dies on its own.)

Red-striped amaryllis

Move the amaryllis into a sunny window and water and care for it as you would any houseplant. When spring arrives and temperatures stay above 50 degrees at night, move it outdoors into a spot where it receives good morning sun and shade from the hot afternoon sun.

The foliage will continue to grow actively through the summer, which is critical to keeping the bulb healthy and sets the stage for the bulb to re-bloom next winter. Fertilize every two or three weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer for flowering plants.



Amaryllis performs best when given a rest period after summer growth and before flowering. Gradually decrease watering in late summer (late August early September). The foliage should start to turn yellow and die back. You might need to quit watering altogether to get the foliage to die back.

Leave the dormant bulb in its pot and store it in a cool place, preferably between 45F and 50F. Light is not necessary while the bulb is dormant. Do not water during this dormant period. The bulb should remain dormant for about three months.

White Amaryllis


To bring the amaryllis back into bloom, first check to see if the bulb needs to be replanted. Allow about two inches between the bulb and the sides of the pot.

Amaryllis bulbs bloom best when they are rootbound. If it is crowding the edge of the pot, repot it into a slightly larger container that allows the two-inch space. Do not plant the bulb into a very large container as the large volume of soil will hold too much water and cause it to rot.

rusty red colored amaryllis

Remove the bulb from its pot carefully to avoid damaging the roots. If it has developed offshoots, remove them and plant them in small (three inch) pots. They should flower for you in three or four years.

Be sure to use a good quality potting soil that drains well, yet retains sufficient moisture. One that contains equal parts peat and perlite is excellent. Trim off the dead foliage before repotting. Be sure to leave the top third to half of the bulb above the soil surface.

Once you have repotted the dormant bulb (if necessary), move it into a warmer room (68F to 75F) and resume watering. At first, you will only have to water sparingly. As the flower stalks and foliage begin to grow, it will require more frequent watering. It should re-bloom in six to eight weeks.


Starting amaryllis from seed




home | terms of use | contact | search | site map
Copyright 2017  DONNAN.COM  All rights reserved.