One of the best-selling flowers for the holidays is the beautiful Amaryllis. Amaryllis start out as bulbs you can buy from the garden center and at many discount stores. Currently, Walmart and Kmart has a large selection of Amaryllis bulbs for sell. To start your Amaryllis bulb on its growth cycle to bloom, follow these directions:
Remove Amaryllis bulb from box and read all enclosed directions. For best results, soak the roots for 12 hours (overnight) before planting.
- Amaryllis love to be root-bound, so choose a pot that is only 1 inch in diameter larger than the bulb. When you plant the bulb, leave the top half uncovered.
- Water lightly and make sure soil is packed around the lowered half of the bulb. Keep watering until bulb blooms, but do not overwater.
- When bulb starts to grown, it will send up a thick stalk. Rotate the pot daily to keep the stalk from bending toward the light. You may have to eventually stake the stem in order to support the bloom.
- Amaryllis love warmth, so keep out of drafty areas. Place in a south-facing window because higher light will give you a stronger stem.
- When the bloom opens, move the pot to a lower light area to prolong bloom time. The best room temperature for a blooming amaryllis is 65 to 70 degrees.
- Remove spent flower stalks on the Amaryllis to 2 inches above the bulb; occasionally you may get a 2nd stem with bloom. Cutting the bloom after it fades will prevent seed formation.
- For extended blooming, pinch the yellow centers from the open blooms (the anthers). This will keep the energy directed toward blooming instead of worrying about pollination.