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How to care for your amaryllis after it blooms!

Amaryllis are a beautiful flower with large showy blooms and vibrant colours. They make great centrepieces for the Christmas holidays, but did you know they can also be grown year after year for even better blooms? We’ll take you through the steps of how to care for amaryllis so that you can keep enjoying the plant for years to come.

Amaryllis are a perennial flower originating from South Africa and the flowers that we tend to see during the holidays are actually from another family called Hippeastrum that come from South and Central America. Although it’s a bit of misnomer, we continue to call them Amaryllis as that’s what most people know them as.

For the holidays this plant is not unusual. Water when dry and it blooms right through the holidays. But what do you do after Christmas and what about when the flowers are done blooming? Well the first thing you’ll want to do is cut off the flower stock with a pair of clean and sharp pruners or scissors about 1 inch above the bulb. You’ll want to leave the leaves alone because they’re going to help the plant build up nutrients for the next blooming season.

Amaryllis like to grow in bright sunny spots with direct sun hitting their leaves. You’ll want to water them only when the soil is dry as they’re more prone to rotting than drying out. They can be grown indoors, but if you want they can also be grown outside once the temperatures are consistently above 10°C. You’ll likely need to adjust them to the sun as well slowly allowing them more and more direct sun each day.

Over the course of the growing season you should fertilize once every 2-3 weeks. They’ll continue to grow right through until Autumn once temperatures drop. You’ll need to bring the plant inside before the frost sets in and give them about 2 months or 8 weeks of a dormancy. That’s when you should stop watering them altogether and store them somewhere cool, dark, and dry. Basements, garages, and even closets are a great place to store them. Then about 2 weeks before the desired blooming time you can bring them out and set them up like last year giving them lots of light and a drink to start off.

-Sean Church-Bornkessel


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