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Thereís nothing quite like an amaryllis; odd looking, yet appealing. Amaryllis are gorgeous for a welcome span in the winter and then pretty dull for the rest of the year. Most amaryllis will go dormant naturally and re-bloom sometime during winter. However, if youíre one of those gardeners who prefer to force their amaryllis into bloom for the holiday season, get cracking. Many Ďpreparedí bulbs are sold right now, ready to pot up and have in time for Christmas. Here are directions for forcing your Amaryllis for holiday display, as well as general care for your amaryllis plant.

Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2007) licensed to About.com, Inc.


December 10, 2007 at 6:07 pm
(1) Barbara says:

I have cybister amaryllis that are sometimes referred to as being “evergreen”. What does that mean in this case and are they to be treated differently from regular amaryllis?
Also, one of my regular amaryllis has not seen a drop of water since September and has been kept cool, but its leaves remained healthy. I moved it to a cool and dark spot about a month ago and yet the leaves persist. Should I just pot it up again and let it do its thing or should I wait until the leaves finally decide to die back?
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

December 11, 2007 at 2:04 pm
(2) Marie Iannotti says:

Cybister amaryllis is actually a whole different species (Hippeastrum cybister). Itís a tropical bulb from South America and it will not drop its leaves, like the common Amaryllis. Iím not really familiar with them, but Iíve read that the need their leaves present to set flower buds.

You can plant them similarly to your amaryllis, above the soil line in a well draining soil with a pH around 6.0 – 6.5. A potting mix with peat would work well. The bulbs are usually potted up in the fall/winter and kept moist, but not wet. The bulb will rot if left sitting in soaking wet soil.
Once the roots and flower spike start forming, it can be fertilized with any balanced flowering plant food.

They like warm temperatures while actively growing (70-75̊ F.) And bright sunlight. Once they flower, you can prolong the blooms by keeping them about 10 degrees cooler.

As for your regular dormant Amaryllis, if it hasnít gone dormant yet, itís not going to bloom anytime soon. Sometimes the bulbs just donít cooperate. I donít know if itís the bulb, the warmer fall weather or what. You can pot it up as is, let it grow on its own and then try to induce dormancy a bit earlier next year. Or you can leave it dry and in the dark a month or so longer and hopefully have blooms in late spring.

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