Thursday, February 17, 2011
At Logee's, we sell all our Amaryllis around the holidays and then we don't see them again until next year. However, last week I was in our greenhouses and found lots of new varieties that were in bloom, out of bloom, and other various stages of growth. Many of these Amaryllis are still in the testing phase (are the blooms big enough, do they hold on well, do they grow to the desired height,etc) but the plant care remains the same. Take a look at what to do with your Amaryllis after the bloom.
Here is Amaryllis Aphrodite a new variety that is being tested. Notice the flower stem that is almost finished blooming. It will need to be trimmed.
A close up of the flower.
And more neglected Amaryllis. We need to take each Amaryllis one by one and first trim off the dead blooms.
This can be done by simply removing the flower and leaving the stem to give the plant energy until a new growth begins.
This bloom will only be good for another few days but the blooms are so spectacular that I like to try to make them last as long as they can. Notice the tall green flower stem. This may turn yellow and die which is normal. Once it tips over or dies, then cut back to around one to two inches above the bulb.
Another bloom gone. This entire flower stem can be trimmed back to the two inches above the bulb now since, the new growth has already begun and is infusing life into the plant.
These Amaryllis can be grown and cared for like any other tropical plant. They can be moved outside in the summer and back inside in the winter. There are many different thoughts on how to re-bloom them. Some say, grow the plant until fall and then take the bulb out of the pot and store it in the refrigerator for 6 weeks. Finally, take the refrigerated bulb out about 6-8 weeks before you want it to flower and start the potting process and flowering process all over again.
At Logees, we like to grow Amaryllis like any other plant and keep it pot bound. The large green leaves are giving the bulb energy for next year's flowers. If you grow your Amaryllis outside for the summer and bring it in, the leaves will turn yellow and wither. Simply trim to bulb height again.
It's important to give your plant a dormancy period for about 6-8 week. Place the plant (bulb in the pot) in a cool ( 55 degree F), dimly lit area and don't water. A cool north room works well. In November (or after your designated time) move your plant into a warm sunny window and water accurately (don't over water) until your leaves appear. Flowers should bloom in time for the holidays. Here is a great article for more details about year-round care.