The Q&A Archives: amaryllis

Question: why don'tmy amaryllis flower?it gets tall green leaves and alarge bulb andmany baby bulbs,i do with it like directions say.thank you for help

Answer: I suspect your amaryllis is doing quite well, but not well enough to bloom. It needs to produce a large amount of foliage in order to build its strength up enough to bloom. The little offsets usually take a couple of years to become mature enough and strong enough to bloom as well. You may leave the offsets in the container with the original bulb for a time, or you can separate them. Amaryllis like to be crowded so you whould not have to do this until they are literally filling the container. When you repot, use a container just an inch or so wider than the bulb.

Be sure to treat it well while it has foliage so it grows vigorously. It needs bright light, regular fertilizing with a water soluble fertilizer such as 10-10-10 plus minors, and regular watering. Some gardeners will set their amaryllis outdoors for the summer in a location with morning sun or bright dappled light all day.

In the late fall, allow it to rest. Stop watering and store it in a dark location that is cool, say 50 degrees. After 8 to 10 weeks, bring it back into the light and restart it growing. (If it begins to grow before that, bring it into the light even though the full rest time has not passed.) Water once to moisten and keep the soil just barely damp until you see it grow again. With luck, it will bloom.

After it blooms, remove the bloom stalk and keep it going like a houseplant again.

Good luck with your amaryllis!

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