Here’s what to do:
- After the flowers whither, remove them where they’re attached to the stalk, leaving the stalk in place. Don’t let the flower produce a seed pod, because it saps energy.
- Keep the plant in a sunny window, and keep it growing like a healthy houseplant.
- When the flower stalk turns yellow, cut it off at its base. Keep watering and caring for the plant like a houseplant, giving plenty of sunlight.
- Fertilize with a Miracle Gro type fertilizer every two weeks.
- Water as you would any houseplant, when the top inch or two of soil becomes dry. Water thoroughly each time you water, being careful to discard any drainage.
- In late May, after danger of frost is past, move the plant outdoors. Start by setting the potted plant in a shady location, out of the wind. After a week or so, the plant will be adjusted enough to move to a sunny location. You can keep the potted plant on the patio, or sink pot and all into a flowerbed receiving six hours or more of sun each day. (Sinking pot and all into flowerbed helps reduce the frequency of watering.)
- Keep the plant growing vigorously. It’s during this healthy growing phase that the bulb is storing up energy and producing interior flower buds. Fertilize every two weeks.
- Bring the plant indoors in late summer or early fall before danger of frost.
- Now we’re going to give the plant a dormant rest period. Put the potted plant into a cool, dry, dark spot with a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees, like a basement or cool closet. Stop watering.
- Foliage will gradually turn yellow. When they are brown, dry, and crisp, cut them off at bulb level.
- Leave the plant “rest” during this dormant period for 8 to 12 weeks. Don’t water.
- Check the plant occasionally. If growth does start, move to a sunny window and begin watering and fertilizing.
- After 8 to 12 weeks, move the dormant potted bulb to a sunny window, and start watering and fertilizing. (Fertilize every 2 weeks.)
- Amaryllis bulbs only need repotting every 3 or 4 years. If it’s been that long, repot into fresh soil at the same time you bring it out of dormancy.
- On the average, bulbs bloom 4 to 6 weeks after growth resumes.
- Amaryllis plants can bloom if kept growing continuously, (without giving it a rest period) whenever the bulb interiorly develops enough strength to build a flower bud. But the most reliable way to trigger flowering, is to provide the dormant rest period.
Happy Gardening, and may all our amaryllis bulbs bloom for the next 75 years!