The Q&A Archives: Amaryllis

Question: I am growing my amaryllis bulb in a vase filled with water. I read on another web page that bulbs that are grown this way cannot "regenerate" themselves for the next season. Is this true?

Answer: It's probably not a good idea to grow an amaryllis in a vase of water if you intend to keep it after it blooms. The water will eventually rot the bulb. Why not transplant yours into a pot filled with commercial potting soil? The organic matter in the soil will supply some nutrients to the roots, and will help anchor your plant and keep it upright. Amaryllis usually produces a thick stalk with a very large flower and will need something more substantial than water to keep it upright. Plant your bulb by burying it half-way in moistened growing medium, and you'll be able to keep it for several years. Here are some basic Amaryllis growing tips: These bulbs grow best in bright light at temperatures of 60F - 70F. The flower stalk will emerge first, followed by two or more strap-like 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 three 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 the process.

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