Planting your new Amaryllis bulb:
- Prepare the bulb for planting by soaking it’s base and roots in warm water for a couple of hours. This will hydrate the dry root system. If you can’t plant it right away, keep it in a cool area and hydrate it at the time of planting.
- Use good potting soil, add worm castings to it to give it a natural nutritious boost once the roots start growing. Always moisten the soil first. It is much easier to work with and doesn’t sink down when watering it.
- Place only the bottom 3/4 of the bulb under the soil. The neck and top of the bulb should stick out. Never cover the bulb completely with soil as the bulb will rot easily that way. Make sure the soil is pressed firmly around the bulb. This will keep it from tipping. They can get top heavy.
- Water sparingly until the plant starts to grow. Then let it dry slightly. They do not like to stay constantly wet as this will create fungus gnats.
- You may also grow Amaryllis in water. If you would like it to stay shorter in the container try this recipe: After a week on water, drain all the water out, replace it with any kind of white alcohol. That's right, it needs to get drunk to stay short. Use 1:7 ratio by volume of water to 80˚ proof Vodka (40% alcohol).
Getting last seasons Amaryllis to re-bloom:
If you would like your Amaryllis to bloom year after year, you’ll need to keep it growing the rest of the winter and into the late summer. Cut the flower stalk off when all the flowers are spent. Let the leaves grow throughout the summer. In fact if you have a spot outside it would really like to be there.
- Water it regularly, fertilize or add some worm casting as a top dressing for natural nutrients.
- In early September, reduce the watering and by October stop watering it completely. Cut the leaves off at this time. Let at rest in a dark cool 50-55* spot for 8-12 weeks.
- In January, bring it back out. Remove the old soil and bad roots. Re-pot it with fresh soil and worm castings. It should bloom in 8-10 weeks if everything went well during it’s growing and rest period.
In October, put the old bulb in a box or bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 weeks. Keep it away from apples as they give off ethylene gas which prevents them from blooming. Then plant it 8-10 weeks before you want it to bloom again.
The Legend of Amaryllis
Amaryllis was named after a shepherdess from Greek Mythology. Amaryllis means “Sparkling”. This is a Greek Legend that tells how it came to be and why the red one is so blood red.
Amaryllis was a beautiful maiden. Near her village lived a handsome young shepherd. All the maidens in the village wanted his attention, especially Amaryllis. He was not interested in any of them. He cared more about his plants and flowers. He would tell each of the young maidens to bring him a new flower that he has never seen. Then and only then would he give them his heart. She gave her some strange and usual advice that she must follow it to win his love. The Priestess told her to take a golden arrow, pierce her heart with it. Then go to the young shepherds cottage everyday taking the same path until he noticed her. She did this for 29 days. Each day she shed more of her blood on the path to his cottage. She was turned down every time. On the 30th day she felt her feet brush against some flowers she had never noticed. They were beautiful blood red flowers. She picked an armful and rushed to the cottage. When the shepherd opened the door he was stunned. They both were the most beautiful things he had ever seen. He would name the flowers Amaryllis after her. He fell in love with her and the flowers. They lived happily ever after. Oh, I almost forgot to say, her heart was healed instantly.