The Q&A Archives: Amaryllis Care

Question: I have an old flowerbed full of amaryllis. They are crowding each other and have goose grass or silver crab grass that is compacting the bulbs. I have been working on the crabgrass but it looks like I'll need to dig everything up and redistribute the bulbs. The bulbs have multiplied so that they are almost in mounds. This year they strong leaves in May but soon turned yellow and wilted. I pulled off all of the dead leaves so that the bulbs wouldn't rot but now there are a few flower stalks up. They have never been moved inside to my knowledge but have just been there for one year. I want to dig up everything and start over getting rid of the crab grass and replanting the bulbs. When should I do this? The weather here is warm enough to leave them in the ground. Any advice?

Answer: Amaryllis belladonna (Brunsvigia rosea) are long-lived perennials that tend to clump when left alone. Divide and transplant in late spring or early summer when the bulbs are dormant. If you transplant at any other time, they may not bloom for years! Dig the clumps and divide, then set the bulbs so the tops are even with ground level. Give the bulbs plenty of room by spacing 2-3 feet apart, and you won't have to dig and divide them for several years.

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