The Amaryllis Plant for the Brown-Thumbed Gardener: amaryllis bulbs for winter color

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The Amaryllis Plant for the Brown-Thumbed Gardener

By PAgirl63
January 24, 2015

I've always had a "brown" thumb when it comes to growing amaryllises. Either I'll grow plants that have lush green leaves and no flowers, or the bulbs will just sit there and sulk. Or even worse, the bulbs turn to mush or they just shrivel up. This year I cheated and had success!

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Jan 24, 2015 8:50 AM CST
I have had marvelous success with growing amaryllis bulbs inside for years. I purchase the largest bulbs I can find. I like to get three or five and plant them in a clay azalea pot with any really good potting soil to which I add the recommended amount of time-release fertilizer. Plant the bulbs leaving the necks out and mulch with large gravel. I learned not to use plastic pots because the big stems full of those huge blooms will pull the plant and pot both over. The clay pot along with the gravel mulch gives it weight and stability and looks fabulous too. If you like you can always sit the clay pot into a basket or liner, but I love the simplicity of the clay. This year I planted five huge bulbs in a 10" azalea pot. I do all this because I want to grow them off so I can use them next year. You want all the leaves you can get to feed the bulb to form large blooms for next year. It requires good soil and fertility to do that. Plus lots of light-sun in winter so I place them in a very sunny window or under a light until the buds form---then move them in the living room. Once they finish blooming, I clip off the faded blooms only, leaving the stems to add nourishment for the next blooms.
Once the weather permits, I place them outside and grow them in semi-shade all summer. In September, I lay them on their sides and allow them to completely dry out and go dormant. Then 6-8 weeks before the holiday season, give them a good soaking and fertilizer and off you go again. My bulbs have grown and increased through the years by doing this and I have many huge magnificent flowers to decorate with or to take to shut-ins.

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