Amaryllis brightens up winter days


The Amaryllis is in its glory at this time of year, producing large colorful blooms from late December into the New Year, and sometimes beyond. They come in a variety of colors, with shades of red, white, pink, salmon and orange.  There are also many striped and multicolored varieties, usually combining shades of pink or red with white.

Properly cared for, the plant and its glorious blooms can bring years of flowering pleasure to a home.

The University of Minnesota webpage provides information about selecting, planting and caring for the bulbs. The most often question this time of year is how to keep them so they will bloom in future years. Here is an excerpt from their page on After Care.

The secret to keeping amaryllis thriving for years is to keep the plants actively growing AFTER they have finished blooming.

  • After the flowers have faded, cut them off to prevent seed formation. Seed formation will deplete important energy reserves in the bulb and reduce blooming.
  • Do not remove the flower stalk until it has turned yellow. 
  • A green stem continues to promote photosynthesis, creating energy that is stored in the bulb for future leaf growth and flowers.
  • If the bulb does not produce a flowering stalk in the next blooming period, it is likely that has not stored enough nutrients during the post-blooming period.
  • Keeping the plant healthy and growing will promote blooming.
  • After your plant has finished blooming, place it in the sunniest possible location indoors. It will continue to grow long, smooth leaves. These leaves will promote photosynthesis.
  • Continue to water and fertilize the plant regularly with an all-purpose houseplant plant fertilizer.”

READ: More Carol Kagan Columns

About the author

Carol Kagan

Carol Kagan is a master gardener and author who has been active in herbal organizations for over 35 years. She has designed and maintained herb gardens and provided docent services at historic properties. She is the author of Herb Sampler. The book is a great resource for beginners who love herbs but aren’t quite sure how to get started; or have been unsuccessful in establishing a herb garden.

[Featured photo credit: Amaryllis by Franklin County Master Gardener Jane Birt]