Amaryllis: Beautiful Trumpet Shaped Christmas Flowers

The amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a traditional holiday favorite. This magnificent blooming plant comes from a large bulb that produces one to two foot stems with enormous trumpet shaped christmas flowers up to ten inches wide.The flowers can be single or double in a variety of colors such as white, salmon, pink, red and variegated.

If you receive a plant that is already in bloom, place it in bright indirect light and keep the soil moist at all times.

The massive flowers tend to topple over, so use plant stakes to support the tall stems.

Keep plant in a cool location away from cold drafts and heat vents.

After blooming and the flowers have faded, remove them and all dead foliage. Cut off yellow stems down to the bulb and let the remaining green leaves grow for a few months to store energy so it can bloom again.

Continue to water and fertilize. Plant may be planted outdoors during summer by plunging the pot directly into the ground in a spot where it will receive full sun. By planting bulbs in the pot makes it easy for removing from the ground when it's time to bring the plant indoors.

Dig up bulbs before frost and let them rest in a cool, dark place for six to eight weeks to allow the plant to go dormant; do not water. When the neck of the bulb looks green, the growth process will start all over again. Follow this process and you can have flowers year after year.

How to Plant Amaryllis Bulbs

If you want your bulbs to bloom in time for Christmas, plant them in autumn. Select a date when you want to have flowers and count backwards to get the planting date. Bulbs usually bloom in six to eight weeks.

The plant likes a tight fit in small containers, so select a pot that is only slightly larger than the bulb. Make sure the pot has a hole for drainage and remove all excess water to prevent root rot.

Fill the pot with sterilized potting mix and place bulb in the mix with the pointed-side-up with the top half exposed and water. Then only water sparingly until growth begins. When the buds appear, increase watering and fertilizing. Place near a sunny south or east window.

Amaryllis Plant Care Tips:

Light: Bright (near sunny south or east window)
Water: Keep evenly moist, dry during dormancy
Temperature: Average
Humidity: Average (25% or more)
Fertilization: Apply monthly during active growth
Repotting: Plants like to be pot-bound. Repot every 3 or 4 years.
Problems: Plants can be attacked by mealybugs and scale on undersides of leaves; if present, spray with appropriate pesticide.

Safety Tip: Plant is toxic, so keep out of reach of children and pets.

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