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Amaryllis is the quintessential holiday flower. Count on these blooms to remain fresh and vibrant for several weeks, creating breathtaking magic in any room. Simple to grow, they arrive already set in the soil ready to sprout and grow, often over an inch a day. The festive holiday container can be reused for many years to come!
After carefully removing all shipping materials, keep your planter in a well-lit area; an eastern- or western-exposed window is ideal. Rotate your planter two times per week so that the plants do not lean too much toward the light. Sometimes it is helpful to stake the flowering stems as they do tend to grow rather tall. Bulbs perform best and last longer when they are exposed to cooler (65-70 degrees F) temperatures. Avoid placing your plant directly over a heat register or other appliances. The bulbs will follow the cycle shown on the illustration below. The warmer the temperature, the faster the bulb will sprout. Be sure to set the container on a protected surface to prevent water damage to furniture.
Water your amaryllis moderately with lukewarm water immediately upon arrival. Your planter will perform best when you water sparingly and the potting soil is kept slightly moist (but not soggy) at all times. Continue doing this until buds appear. As the buds and leaves appear, gradually water more. Check your plant a couple of times per week, and provide water when the potting soil dries. Avoid overwatering.
After your forced amaryllis has finished blooming, it is exhausted and requires some rest and relaxation. Cut the flowering stalk off an inch or two above the bulb and discard. Leave the foliage intact. As they wither, they provide food to be stored in the bulb for next year's blooming. This is the time we highly recommend repotting your amaryllis from its decorative seasonal container to a planter with drainage holes. When you do this, make sure that you do not remove the potting soil from the bulb. Treat your amaryllis like a houseplant by watering when the potting soil dries and providing a water-soluble fertilizer once per month.
After danger of frost has passed in late spring, move your amaryllis outdoors to a semi-shaded area. The pot can be maintained on the patio, or the bulb may actually be planted in the garden. Continue to water and fertilize throughout the summer. In late summer, discontinue fertilization and reduce watering to allow the foliage to wither. In the fall, before the first hard frost, move your amaryllis back indoors and cut off the dried foliage above the neck of the bulb. Store the bulb in a cool, darkened area for a rest period lasting at least 6-8 weeks. After the rest period, repot the bulb and move the potted bulb into a warm, well-lit area. Resume watering once growth begins. Your bulb will bloom again in approximately 4-5 weeks.