Amaryllis bulbs and flowers are a staple of the upcoming holiday season. They are easy to pot and grow.

In general, it takes 5-8 weeks for amaryllis to bloom from a bulb.  Check the label on the variety you purchase, some bloom faster.  A little preparation now will yield a beautiful blooming amaryllis for the holidays.

  1. Start by finding the right pot.  The most important aspect is that the pot must have a drainage hole.  Secondly, it needs to accommodate the bulb.  Choose a pot that is an inch or two wider than the bulb.  Check the depth, too.  Ideally, you should have room for an inch or two of soil below the bulb once it’s planted.  Keep in mind that your amaryllis will be a little top-heavy when it blooms, so a heavier pot is better.  Terra cotta, ceramic, or glazed pots are ideal for amaryllis.
  2. Use fresh potting soil and moisten it before planting the bulb.  Choose a quality potting soil, do not use regular garden soil as it will not drain properly and your bulb may rot.
  3. Position the bulb so that the top 1/3 will remain above soil level.  Leave an inch or two between the soil level and the rim of the pot for proper watering.  Be sure to pack the soil firmly around the bulb, this will give the plant a good foundation for when it is in bloom.
  4. Place the pot in a relatively cool, bright location.  Direct sunlight is not required but a bright area is.  Water sparingly until you see about 2” of new growth.  Once the plant is actively growing, water regularly and turn the pot periodically to encourage the stalk to grow straight rather than bend toward the sunlight.  Buds will appear and blooms will begin within approximately 5-8 weeks.  
  5. To prolong the blooms, keep the pot away from heat and direct sunlight.  Sometimes the long flower stems will benefit from a little extra support such as a small stake.