How To Get Indoor Amaryllis/Hippeastrum To Bloom

Posted by @mcash70 on
I have heard a lot of folks say that they cannot get their Amaryllis/Hippeastrum to bloom the second or third year, and I was very surprised to be told by a saleslady at a garden center that she was unsuccessful.

I purchased my first Amaryllis/Hippeastrum plants, Red Lion and a white Hybrid # 9357 in 2012. Both had bloom stalks and were so beautiful when they bloomed that I was immediately hooked and I wanted more. Both plants bloomed beautifully last year, and this year they are both sending up bloom stalks again.
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This is my method for getting Amaryllis/Hippeastrum to bloom successfully indoors. When the blooming is finished, I cut the stalks down to about 1 to 2 inches from the bulb. Of course, if you want seed pods, then you should wait until the seed is mature before cutting the stalks off.
I start feeding the plant with Miracle-Gro, an all-purpose liquid fertilizer, when the leaves appear and are about an inch tall. I feed them every few weeks throughout the growing period.

My plants stay inside in a sunny window all summer. I don’t put them outside because I do not want the foliage or bulbs to get eaten by insects, pick up a disease, or bring bugs inside the house. This is a personal choice.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to overwater the plant and let the bulb rot. I water my bulbs two or three times a week. I can usually tell when they need water from the weight of the pot. Then I water from the bottom, which is a little time consuming, perhaps, but it is well worth the trouble. I use a plastic container larger than the pots, fill it 2/3 full with tepid water, and this is also when I add the Miracle-Gro. Then I hold the pot in the water for a slow count of 8 to 10. The top of the soil should remain dry so that just the roots are getting the moisture, keeping the top of the bulb dry. Do not let the plant totally dry out. During the growth period, some of the leaves may yellow or flop over, and I cut those off with a sharp knife.

Around the last week in August, I start to withhold water and wait for the leaves to turn yellow so that the bulb will go dormant. This can take quite some time. Placing the plants in a cool dark space with good air circulation can speed up this process. When the leaves are mostly yellow, cut them off, leaving about two inches at the neck of the bulb. At this point you have the choice of leaving the bulb in the pot or removing it from the pot.
If the bulb has been in the pot for a couple of years, I would remove it from the pot, being careful not to damage the roots. You may have to wet the soil to get all of it off the bulb. Thumb of 2014-01-26/mcash70/6dc9eb Thumb of 2014-01-26/mcash70/939ff8Place the bulbs on a rack and let them fully dry. Then place them in a brown paper bag with the name tag, or write the name of the cultivar on the bag, leaving the top open, and store in a cool dark basement or closet for 6 to 8 weeks. Check the bulbs once in a while for rot or mold. So far I have not had a problem with either.

After the dormant period, I remove two bulbs at a time. This spreads out my bloom time. I pot them up in a planting mix, and I water well from the top to settle the soil around the bulb. It can take up to 2 weeks before you see any growth. It may be bloom stalks or leaves that appear first.

I had seven dormant bulbs this year -- Red Lion, white Hybrid # 9357, two Apple Blossom, Aphrodite, Amigo, Red Pearl -- and out of the seven bulbs,
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I am pleased to report that one is now blooming and the others are in different stages of growth. All have bloom stalks.Thumb of 2014-01-26/mcash70/3cdfff

 
Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Same amaryllis problem here by Buttoneer Apr 26, 2016 1:52 PM 2
drying Amaryllis bulbs by 4susiesjoy Oct 31, 2015 6:30 PM 12
RE: Amaryllis Success by Gardenspot2010 May 2, 2015 10:59 AM 3
Perfect Timine! by RickM Mar 1, 2014 9:54 AM 1
Good information by quietyard Feb 28, 2014 4:06 PM 28
Thanks by mcash70 Feb 28, 2014 12:38 AM 0

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