The Q&A Archives: Leafless Amaryllis

Question: My amayllis plant needed to be repotted, so after it sat dormant at the end of last fall, I repotted the bulb in a slightly larger pot (I know they prefer a little crowding). The plant took longer than normal to show any signs of life after I started giving it light and water again immediately after the repotting. Once it got going, the bulb sent up a flower stalk that is currently THREE FEET high! The blooms are incredible. However, the plant has no leaves at all. Shouldn't there be some leaf activity happening simultaneously with the blooming? I fed the plant throughout the year (except during the rest period, obviously), and the new soil included a slow-release fertilizer. What's going on?

Answer: It's normal for an Amaryllis to flower before it develops its strap-like leaves. When the flower fades, cut the stalk back to the top of the bulb. Leaves should then appear. The leaves are necessary to gather and return energy to the bulb for next year's bloom. You've given the bulb all the required care, so relax and enjoy its spectacular display!

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