Botanical Name: Hippeastrum spp.
Growing amaryllis indoors is easy to do by forcing the bulbs into bloom mid-winter. Popular for their festive, oversized flowers, amaryllis bulbs are commonly sold as ready-to-plant kits for the Christmas season.
These bulbs produce magnificent trumpet-shaped blooms in red, white, yellow, pink, and salmon. In addition to solid-colored petals, there are many varieties with stripes, contrasting edges -- even double blooms. A single stem will produce 4 flowers, and large bulbs may produce 2 stems.
Buy bulbs early in the season for best quality and best selection. Choose bulbs that are plump and firm. Don't buy shriveled bulbs even if they're a "bargain"...they may not grow well.
You'll find an excellent variety from online nurseries. Many cultivars are available to choose from. Pink and white 'Appleblossom' is long-time favorite. Orange-red double blooms make 'Lady Jane' a popular selection. 'Red Lion' is a dependable bloomer in rich, radiant red.
What to do after the bloom. After the flowers fade, cut off the stems and let the leaves grow to nourish the bulb. Continue to water and fertilize the plant. Gradually reduce watering so that the leaves die back. Cut off the brown leaves. Allow the bulb to rest by storing it in a paper bag in a cool (50°F/10°C), dry place for at least 2 months. Plant it again in fresh soil 6-8 weeks before you want it to bloom.
Good amaryllis care will ensure that you'll enjoy beautiful blooms year after year.
Origin: South America
Height: 12-24 in (30-60 cm). Use support stakes to hold up tall stems.
Light: Bright light to full sun during growing season. Turn pot occasionally so that all sides are exposed to light for even growth.
Water: Keep potting mix evenly moist, but not soggy, during growing season.
Humidity: This tropical native will tolerate average room humidity. Keep your plant out of drafts from heating vents and doors and windows.
Temperature: Cool to average room temperatures 55-70°F/13-21°C. Make your flowers last longer by keeping the plant in a slightly cooler location.
Soil: Any good potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks with high-potassium liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Offsets may grow around the bulb. Leave them attached for 2 seasons before breaking them off and planting them in their own pots.