The Q&A Archives: Amaryllis

Question: I have an amaryllis plant in my room and it has been doing just fine. It has four leaves on it and they have been green for about two months. They are still green and I thought that amaryllis leaves were supposed to turn yellow and then you could put them in the basement for rest. Why have they not turned yellow yet?

Answer: You have all the right ideas about caring for your Amaryllis, but you're rushing things a bit. The leaves will turn yellow and die and the bulb will need to rest, but this won't happen until late summer. Here are some general guidelines for getting your Amaryllis to rebloom: these bulbs grow best in bright light at temperatures of 60F - 70F degrees. 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 place. 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 bulbs. When the weather warms in the spring, take it outdoors again to repeat the process. Hope this information helps you keep your Amaryllis blooming for several years!

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