Gardening Basics

Caring for Amaryllis

Here's how to keep your amaryllis going for next year's holidays.

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Amaryllis 'Dancing Queen'

Amaryllises are wonderful flowers for the holiday season. These bulbs produce dramatic single or multiple blossoms that last for several weeks. Here's how to keep your amaryllis going for next year's holidays:

After the blossoms die back, cut the flower stalks, give the plant as much light as possible and keep the potting soil moist. You can move them outside when the weather warms, and the plant will grow throughout the summer.

In August or September, the bulb needs rest. Gradually withhold water; when the foliage has dried, cut it back to about two to three inches above the bulb. Remove the bulb from its pot and allow the roots to dry. Store the bulb in a cool, dark place (40 to 45 degrees is ideal). A chilly basement is good; if you want to store in the bottom drawer (the crisper) of the refrigerator, do so only if there are no apples in the refrigerator.

Let the bulb rest for six to eight weeks, then pot it again and the cycle will resume. Your amaryllis will be ready for another holiday season.

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