The Q&A Archives: Potted Bulb After Bloom Care

Question: I have both a potted amaryllis bulb and another pot of narcissus bulbs that have both bloomed. Please tell me how to care for them so they will bloom again.

Answer: You can cut off the spent flowers and flower stalk on your narcissus but allow the foliage to die down on its own. Once it has done that you can plant the bulbs in your garden for rebloom next year.

Amaryllis usually are forced to bloom in the winter time, then are allowed to grow their foliage all spring and summer, then are rested in the fall. In order to bloom again, they need a good growth period so the foliage can build the bulb's strength. Then the dormant period allows it to rest, then repotting and bringing into active growth again triggers blooming. It can be set outside for the summer and although it should be fertilized regularly make sure you are not overfertilizing it while it is growing. This fall, stop watering and allow it to die back. Cut off the foliage after it has fully browned. Store it dry at about 55 degrees for about two months. Then bring it into the light and water once to start it back into growth. Once it is growing, watger enough to keep the soil slightly damp and fertilize regularly with a good quality water soluble fertilizer such as 10-10-10 plus minors. This bulb likes to be crowded and can be kept in a relatively small pot (the offsets and mother bulb can be grown together), repot only if truly necessary and use a good quality container mix. When you repot, set the bulb quite high in the soil -- leave the top third of the bulb exposed. I hope this helps.

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