by Paul Pietsch

Strange how amaryllis always show up around Christmas. With built-in clocks and mechanisms, these bulbs can easily be available to flower at any time of the year. Bar none, these are the easiest plants to flower … and showy flowers they are. They were available at many grocery stores in colours of red, pink, white and combinations of all three.

If you wanted some unusual varieties or extra-large bulbs, seeking them at local floral shops would be the way to go. They are well worth the investment. Especially if you intend to reflower them. They are worth the challenge.

By now you have planted the bulb and it should be finished flowering. All that was required was to water and fertilize it normally. Not too wet but also not dry. Give it as much light as you can and if possible keep it where it is cooler but bright light. As I said the flowers should be gone by now. Remove the faded petals leaving the green stock as this contains chlorophyll (green). By now the leaves should have started to grow.

This greenery will now begin to replenish the bulb so it can flower again. All the while water and fertilize regularly. I would water every second week and fertilize with each watering. The amount of fertilizer to use is less than a quarter of the suggested amount because it is being applied often. The amount of time you keep the leaves green is up to you. This is one of the ways you determine when it will bloom again. As a guideline two months is minimum.

Now comes the important part. Dormancy.

Where amaryllis grow naturally there is a wet season and a dry season. They must have the dry season to reflower. To create this stop watering. Let the leaves turn brown and die off. Again the minimum dormant time is two months.

As I said earlier you can determine when the bulb will rebloom by lengthening the leaf period and the dormant period. Your birthday is when? Lol. When you decide for the bulb to wake up it will take two months. Do it slowly. Water to make the soil moist. Let it dry a bit between watering. Fertilize once the leaves appear at less than a quarter the full strength.

And voila you should get a new set of blooms. Often times the leaves will come on first the second time around. How about getting it to flower a third time!