I get a lot of questions about plants that don't behave the way the books say they're supposed to. Plants and deer really should pay better attention to all the research we've done on them and play along, don't you think? Until then, we have to learn to go with nature.
Amy wrote me that she's had her Amaryllis for about a year and it won't go dormant. It still has 4 or 5 green leaves on it. Should she cut the leaves off? Also the plant seems pot bound. Is now a good time to transplant it?
Sometimes the leaves just won't cooperate, but that doesn't mean the Amaryllis bulb isn't going dormant. Don't bother cutting the leaves off. They'll whither on their own eventually.
Do stop watering the plant and move it to a cool spot out of direct sunlight. Start checking for a flower stalk in about 8 weeks. When you see it poking up, move the plant back into light and start watering again.
Unless your bulb is bursting out of its pot, it's probably fine. Amaryllis need to be snug in their pots to flower. If you think it really has squeezed out all the soil, now is a good time to repot. Only go one size larger and still follow the dormancy instructions above. The cross your fingers and hope your plant learns to read.
Photo: © Marie Iannotti