The Q&A Archives: Amaryllis forcing

Question: Can an indoor amaryllis be forced to bloom more than once a year? If so, what is the minimum cycle times - dormancy and greening times?

Answer: An amaryllis bulb only has enough energy to produce one bloom per year. The leaves, as they yellow and die, send nutrients and energy back to the bulb. Then the bulb has to rest before it's capable of blooming again. Here are some general guidelines for keeping your amaryllis healthy:<br>They 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 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 3 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 theprocess.

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