Updated: Aug 8, 2021
Amaryllis and Poinsettias are among some of the most common indoor garden gifts people share with one another throughout the holiday season. With an unforgettable display of what is usually four huge (approx. 6-7”) blossoms per flower stalk, the Amaryllis flower is a stunning indoor houseplant. The Amaryllis now comes in a variety of colors and flowering forms that can be purchased at your local garden retailer (usually during fall & winter months they are more readily available).
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete however, without a wide array of poinsettias that pop with vibrant red and green in contrast to our traditional holiday décor; like the Amaryllis, these too are now available in a variety of colors and flowering forms (i.e. curly leaves, variegated, tri-colored, etc.).
While the economy is at a steady climb to recuperate from our “recession,” here are some easy to follow instructions on how to easily keep your indoor holiday favorites blooming year after year! Like most garden projects that you get really good at… this re-flowering project with your indoor holiday plants will almost seem automated as you realize how effortless it can be.
Re-Flowering an Amaryllis: To promote larger flowers each consecutive year… it is important that once each flower begins to wilt on the main stalk, you cut the flower off so that it does not begin seed production in round green pods where all the flower petals met at the base of each bloom. When the final flower wilts on the flower stalk, you can immediately cut the entire stalk all the way to the top of the bulb where it emerges (taking special precaution to not injure any leaves or new leaf growth). Once flowering is done… continue watering your Amaryllis as per your regular routine (keeping the soil slightly moist, not wet, and never soaked or sitting in water because the bulb will eventually rot if this occurs). Allow the leaves on the Amaryllis to grow without cutting them, because this is how the plant is producing food for itself to start the new flower cycle. I usually have my bulbs planted in 6” plastic or terra cotta pots, because when the outside temperature gets to be 55F consistently or higher… I bring them outdoors and plant all my Amaryllis bulbs (pot and all!) in a bright sunny location in between my perennials. The foliage or tropical looking dark green leaves from the bulbs look great while they are simultaneously generating more food for the next flowering cycle. Once fall comes around and temperature gets to be below 55F consistently, dig up your pre-potted bulbs and bring them inside. The next phase is what I refer to as the plant “detention,” phase. The Amaryllis detention phase is approximately 8-10weeks in total. During this time, situate or store your bulbs in cool (ideally between 55-60F), dark, and dry location (i.e. no watering at all); this is “tough love”, but it’ll make them flower beautifully all over again! Remember that it is natural for the plant to lose its green leaves during this phase, just let each leaf naturally wilt and don’t prematurely cut them off before the bulbs go into detention. Once the phase has been successfully completely… bring your Amaryllis bulbs out into the light and begin your routine watering and feeding (Every 2-3weeks with a balance plant food) until your Amaryllis rewards you with another gorgeous display of large blossoms for years to come by following these simple steps.