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Colorful amaryllis to brighten up your colorless winter days


The large, colorful blooms of the Amaryllis can brighten dreary winter days. This South American native has showy flowers in a range of colors from white to pink to red. Amaryllis is a beautiful addition to holiday or winter décor.

Getting Started

Often you will find Amaryllis sold as a bulb in a kit with soil and a pot. These large bulbs produce bell-shaped flowers on long stalks. As the flowers begin to open, large, straplike leaves emerge.  

Choose the largest bulbs that are firm and dry. Avoid buying bulbs that show signs of mold, decay, or injury. Usually, larger bulbs produce more flower stalks (scapes) than smaller bulbs. Each scape can have anywhere from 2 to 6 flowers.

Plant bulbs in a container about 1 inch larger in diameter than the bulb. The top half of the bulb should be above the soil line. Add potting medium around the bulb. Water thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain away. Keep the soil moist and not overly wet to prevent root rot.

Move to a sunny spot that stays at temperatures from 65 to 70°F. Temperatures above 70°F can cause a weaker stalk and smaller flowers. Once flowering begins, cooler temperatures of 60-65°F promote longer bloom time. 

After-bloom care

After the blooms have faded, proper care will help the plant store resources in its bulb to prepare for reblooming next season. Once the flower stalk turns yellow, it is best to remove it to prevent seed formation. Allowing the seeds to develop will deplete the bulb’s resources making it less likely to rebloom successfully.

Leave the leaves on the plant so that the plant can create energy/food through photosynthesis. Move the plant to a bright, sunny window with a minimum of six hours of light daily. Water as needed and fertilize monthly with an indoor houseplant fertilizer. 

After the risk of frost, move the Amaryllis outdoors. Acclimate the plant to the outdoors by placing it in filtered sunlight and gradually moving it to a place where it will get six hours of sunlight daily.

Continue watering and fertilizing throughout the growing season. Move the plant indoors before the first frost in the fall.


Amaryllis need a dormant period to induce bloom. Mid to late summer, stop watering and let leaves die back. Store in a cool, dry spot at 45-55°F for approximately 8 to 12 weeks. During this resting period, do not water the bulb.

Inspect the bulbs periodically to ensure they still look healthy with no signs of rot or mold. Because the bulbs will grow in diameter, they will need repotting every couple of years. The best time to repot the bulbs is after the dormant period.

If you see the plant begin to grow green shoots, water and move to a sunny location. You can force new growth by moving the newly potted bulb to a bright and warmer location and watering thoroughly. In about 4 to 6 weeks, flowers will develop. 

While there is no guarantee that a bulb will rebloom, following these steps can lead to beautiful Amaryllis blooms year after year.