I bought a couple of amaryllis bulbs before
Christmas. Three months later, I have lots of foliage but no
flowers. Should I just throw my amaryllis on the compost pile?
Amaryllis bulbs generally push up flower stalks shortly before their
foliage starts to grow. Because your bulbs are pushing foliage with
no flower stalks, they are not going to bloom during this growth
cycle. But do not be in a big hurry to throw them on the compost
pile. You can grow them through them summer and hopefully enjoy that
luscious flower display for this Christmas.
Amaryllis Failed to Bloom?
Amaryllis bulbs fail to bloom if they are too small or if they did
not have a long enough rest/chilling period before you purchased
them and started forcing them.
Now that you have foliage, you want to keep it growing well because
the carbohydrates produced by photosynthesis will nourish the bulbs
and provide the energy for next year's flowers and foliage. Once we
are past danger of cold weather -- late May or early June -- put
your amaryllis bulbs outside in a protected location. An area that
gets morning sun and shade from the hot afternoon sun is ideal.
Fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro,
Peter's 20-20-20, fish emulsion or liquid sea kelp, according to
Amaryllis bulbs usually push-up flower
stalks before foliage starts to grow
In mid-September, move the bulbs into a cool, dark location, and
stop watering and fertilizing them. The foliage will stay green and
healthy-looking for a surprisingly long time but will eventually
die. Remove the dead leaves and allow the bulbs to rest in a cool
(50 to 55°F) area for 8-12 weeks. It is fine to leave them in their
pots during this time. When you are ready to force them again, you
may want to repot them into fresh potting mix. Clay, plastic or
ceramic pots are fine as long as they have drainage holes. Amaryllis
bulbs should be grown in pots an inch or two larger in circumference
than the bulbs. Larger pots contain a greater volume of soil that
will hold too much water and cause the bulbs to rot.
Planting Depth for Amaryllis
It is also important to allow the top half of the bulb to stick out
above the soil surface. If the bulbs are totally covered, they are
likely to rot. Water the potted bulbs thoroughly, and do not water
again until you see signs of growth. Once they start growing, allow
the top inch or two of soil to dry out in between waterings. Stick
you finger into the soil and feel rather than guessing.
Hopefully, the extra care you gave them through the summer allowed
your amaryllis bulbs to grow and store up nutrients so that they
bloom this time around.
Growing Amaryllis from
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