Amaryllis - Knowledgebase Question

Columbia, Mi
Avatar for vaughnfarm
Question by vaughnfarm
August 12, 2010
I have a amarylis that I cut the green top off an inch above the bulb. Is this ok? What do I do now to get it to bloom by Christmas. Did I mess up?
Thanks Betty

Answer from NGA
August 12, 2010
Amaryllis usually goes into dormancy in the late summer so while you may have prematurely pruned off the foliage, your amaryllis may still have had ample time to collect and store carbohydrates for flowering after it has rested. Here are some general guidelines for growing amaryllis:

When the flowers have withered, cut the stem off about two inches above the bulb. The growth is most active during the next two or three months and should be encouraged by ample water and fertilizer. When all danger of frost has passed, the plant may be plunged, pot and all, into the open ground in full sunlight, or it may be grown indoors in a bright location during the summer. Restrictions in growth during this period interfere with the proper development of the bulb in preparation for flowering. Gradually decrease watering late in summer when the leaves begin to turn yellow. Allow the soil to become completely dry when the foliage has died back. While in this dormant state, the bulb should be left in the pot and stored in a cool place, preferably at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the pot on its side and do not water during the dormant period.

Since it requires 6 to 8 weeks from the beginning of growth to the production of flowers in amaryllis, you will want to force it to begin growing again in about 30 days so it can flower during the holidays. Place it in a warm place and water regularly. With any luck at all it will send up a flowering stalk in early November and will be in full bloom in December. Best wishes with your amaryllis.

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