The winter display of amaryllis blooms is just about over, so now what should you do to ensure a bloom for next year? This is a question that always arises in the spring.
- Keep watering your bulb and try to maintain the leaf growth.
- When danger of frost is over, place the pot outside. Some people like to plant the bulbs in the ground, but it's easier to handle them if they stay in their pots. Although they look like shade plants, amaryllis like full sun.
- Fertilize every week with a weak liquid fertilizer. Make doubly sure they get enough water, as their "season" runs on a dry/wet cycle instead of hot/cold. If there is a rainy period in the summer, they will sometimes bloom again.
- In September, knock the bulbs out of the pots and wash out the dirt from the roots with a garden hose. Allow the greens to dry out, and then store the bulbs in a cool, dry place for at least six to eight weeks.
- When you are ready to repot, choose pots that look a little small, about 2-1/2 times as wide as the bulb. A larger pot will encourage the bulb to divide, and it can take three to four years to get bulblets to bloom.
Choose a peaty, acidic soil mix and plant the bulb only up to its shoulder. Any deeper, and the bulb may become diseased.
- Start watering. The bulb should break dormancy in about two weeks and bloom six weeks later.