The Q&A Archives: Amaryllis

Question: I have a blooming amaryllis, some flowers have fallen off and I now have round green knobs at the end where the flowers have fallen off. One knob had white ruffle like things coming out of it. What are the green knobs and what do I do with them?

Answer: The green knobs are the swollen ovaries and may contain viable seeds if insects had access to the Amaryllis while it was in bloom. If you want to propagate your Amaryllis by seeds, leave the stems and knobs alone until they mature and turn brown. The ruffling probably indicates seeds are developing. If you're not interested in collecting seeds, cut the flower stems off near the top of the bulb and toss them in the trash. Seed production can sap the energy of your plant and it may not bloom on schedule if you allow the seeds to mature. That's why we usually recommend that spent flowers and stems be removed from plants so the energy is directed into producing additional foliage and blossoms. Here are some general guidelines to make Amaryllis bloom year after year: Amaryllis bulbs grow best in bright light at temperatures of 60F - 70F. Plant so only one-half of the bulb is buried in the soil. The flower stalk will emerge first, followed by two or more leaves. After flowering, cut off the stalk but allow the leaves to remain. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. In the spring place the pot outdoors in a shady location. In late summer, when the leaves turn yellow and die, stop watering, bring the plant indoors, and allow it to rest in a cool, dry place for about three months. Around the first of December repot and bring it into a bright room . Begin watering again and a new flower stalk and new leaves will emerge from the bulb. When the weather warms in the spring, take it outdoors again to repeat the process.

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