The Q&A Archives: amaryllis has no roots

Question: My amaryllis bulb has a flower stalk and some developing leaves, but no roots. The bulb is not fat and firm anymore. The bulb is not mushy but is shrinking. I think all the stored nutrients are going to the flower and leaves but without roots I'm afraid this bulb won't survive. What can I do to remedy this situation?

Answer: Newly purchased amaryllis bulbs often take a certain length of time to root even though they bloom and produce leaves using the bulb's stored energy. As the season progresses the leaves will grow and replenish the bulb so it can repeat the performance. If your bulb is planted or just resting in plain peat moss as is often the case, you will need to repot it into potting soil. Remove any blooming stem once the flowers have faded, then plant it. Plant it very high, only about two thirds of the way into the soil. Water it sparingly until it has rooted to avoid rotting the bulb. Be sure the soil mix you use is well drained for the same reason. Keep it in a sunny spot or set it outdoors in partial shade when the weather warms. Use a water soluble fertilizer throughout the growing season to encourage the leaves to grow as robustly as possible. Good luck with your bulb!

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