Amaryllis: December's Dazzling Plant of the Month

Growing an Amaryllis bulb is a delightful and rewarding experience, especially during the winter months. These vibrant blooms make for excellent living gifts, perfect for spreading joy during Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and other special occasions.

Choosing and Storing Your Bulb:

  1. The bulb typically takes 5 to 8 weeks to bloom after planting, depending on the time of year and temperature. 
  2. If you're not ready to pot your bulb immediately, store it in a cool place at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Opt for a firm bulb when purchasing, as larger bulbs tend to produce more flowers (up to 3 stems).

Planting Your Amaryllis:

  1. Hydrate the bulb by placing it in lukewarm water for 1-2 hours, keeping the neck dry. 
  2. Choose a heavy pot with good drainage to prevent rotting. 
  3. Use quality potting soil to fill the bottom ¼ of the pot. 
  4. Set the bulb on top, ensuring the nose or tip sits above the pot’s rim. 
  5. Fill soil around the edges, leaving the shoulders above the soil surface. 
  6. Water the pot thoroughly, allowing drainage. Repeat to ensure complete hydration.

Growing Your Amaryllis:

  1. Place the potted bulb in a warm, well-lit area, as heat is crucial for root and stem development. 
  2. Water sparingly until the green stem appears, then water weekly, allowing drainage. 
  3. Gradually increase watering frequency as the bud and leaves emerge, avoiding overwatering.

Enjoying the Process:

  1. Watch the stem grow rapidly, measuring inches overnight. 
  2. Rotate the pot to prevent the stem from bending towards the light. 
  3. Each flower stalk can have 3-5 flowers, each lasting 2-5 days.

Maintenance and Re-blooming:

  1. Prune wilted flowers at the top of the stem. 
  2. After flowering, allow strap-shaped leaves to grow and continue caring for the plant. 
  3. Treat it as a large foliage houseplant: sunny location, weekly watering, and fertilization until August. 
  4. In September, gradually reduce watering and stop in October. 
  5. Cut off the leaves and let the bulb rest in a cool, dark place (48-60 degrees) for 8-10 weeks. 
  6. After the rest, repot and water to start the blooming process again in 8-10 weeks.


Growing an Amaryllis bulb not only brings bursts of color to your winter but also offers the joy of nurturing a living gift that can bloom year after year with proper care. Embrace the beauty and simplicity of this flowering process, making every winter a season to look forward to.

Jennifer Brennan

Jennifer Brennan is the Horticulture Information Specialist, advising and coaching gardeners at Chalet for over 30 years.