Amaryllis bulbs are usually sold near Christmas as fundraisers, like this one by the McLeod family in support of Huntington Disease research.

But they don’t only bloom after Christmas.

Amaryllis is one of the easiest plants to flower. Nothing has to be done to them to get them to produce their blooms. They don’t even have to be potted up in soil. Everything these bulbs needs has already been done for them.

A good challenge, once it has flowered, is to get it to reflower. Do not throw it out. The bulb has spent much of its stored energy to produce these flowers so the thing to do now is to replenish that energy. You do this by letting the leaves and the chlorophyll in the leaves reenergize the bulb. Do this by keeping the leaves green for a minimum of six weeks, watering and fertilizing as needed.

If you want you can keep the leaves green as long as you want the timing gives you a chance to make the bulb flower on your mother’s birthday! Or whenever you want.

The next step which is very important is to stop watering again for a minimum of six weeks. Longer if you want. With these two procedures, you can determine the next flowering date. Once you take the bulb out of dormancy it will take the bulb six to eight weeks to flower depending on temperature. Interestingly the leaves this time grow before the flowers.

So do the math. When do you want your amaryllis to flower? Christmas?