How to Get your Amaryllis to Bloom Every Year

close up of a pink and white flower with green leaves

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are popular gifts for the holidays. While growing them from the bulb the first year is easy, many gardeners are a little perplexed on what to do once the first flower stalk fades. Follow these tips to get that gift of color started and then to get it to rebloom next year!

  • Plant the large bulb in a container big enough to allow for about 1” between the bulb and pot edge. Leave about 1/3 of the top of the bulb above the soil level.
  • Use well-drained potting soil and forget that compressed disc of soil that comes with some bulbs in gift boxes!
  • Place in bright indirect light, and rotate pot at least once a day to prevent a leaning flower stalk. Cool temperatures (60°F) will allow the flowers to last longer.
  • Water only when needed allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Amaryllis will appreciate being on the dry side.
  • When the flower fades, remove stalk at base and allow strap-like leaves to grow.
  • Continue to water and fertilize through the winter and spring months. Good leaf growth means more food produced for the bulb to create a great flower next season.
  • Once the danger of frost has past, move bulb to a full to part sun location outdoors. Leaves may die when moved outside. Don’t worry, new ones will replace them.
  • Continue watering and fertilizing through summer.
  • To force into bloom by Christmas, force bulb into dormancy by withdrawing water about mid-August. Move to a cool location of about 55°F.
  • In dormancy, all (or most) of the leaves will die back. Keep in a cool dark location to initiate flower bud development.
  • When the new flower stalk can be seen peeking out the top of the bulb, move to a bright location and resume watering (sparingly) and enjoy a wonderful new bloom. Large bulbs will produce more than one flower stalk so keeping them year after year will allow you to get a better display each season.

Prepared by Aaron Steil, Assistant Director