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Amaryllis Basics


The amaryllis is a South American tropical plant that produces wildly beautiful blooms

The amaryllis is a big beautiful bloomer that is available in a variety of hybrids that will produce strikingly beautiful colors. Most are now begun as bulbs in South American and The Netherlands. The two "types" of amaryllis are "Christmas" blooming and "winter" blooming. Christmas plants make wonderful holiday gifts, while winter bloomers are hybrids that can bloom at varying times of year.

Amaryllis makes a wonderful indoor or outdoor plant (in zones 9-11 for year-round growth). It prefers a sunny location and warmth - at least 70 degrees while roots are forming and 65 degrees for longer flowering periods. When planting the bulb, give it plenty of good organic matter and be careful not to damage the roots. Allow just a little of the bulb to show above the soil surface; this will prevent fungal infections. Water thoroughly and keep the soil continuously moist. Do not fertilize until leaves begin to form or the roots will die.

Flowering will begin in about seven weeks. Winter flowers may last longer than those that are set to bloom in spring.

As each bloom begins to fade, it is essential to cut it back. This will keep the plant healthy and promote leaf growth. Amaryllis that has been potted can be planted outdoors as soon as all danger of frost has passed. Bulbs, however, can go in the ground in fall for spring flowering. Morning sun; afternoon shade.

To encourage annual flowering, it is important to let the bulb go dormant in dry soil. Once the blooms are spent, cut the stalk. Continue watering and fertilizing as long as leaves remain green. When they yellow, trim above the bulb (carefully) and remove the bulb. Let it dry and keep it in a cool place for at least 8-12 weeks. After that, it will be ready to produce new blooms.

Main problems are bulb rot, red blotch, and mosaic virus (for which there is no cure). Blotch causes reddish spotting and will rapidly affect other plants. Always inspect for typical garden pests as well.

There are many plants that cause illness or fatalities in animals. Amaryllis is one of those and should not be grown in a home with curious, chewing pets.


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Pittsburg, TX 75686
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