Indoor gardening Amaryllis – How to force amaryllis bulbs
Whether you are a homeowner or a housesitter you may love plants. But are you au fait with indoor gardening Amaryllis? Read this blog to learn our top tips on how to force amaryllis bulbs and to make the most of your beautiful Amaryllis plants.
Indoor gardening Amaryllis – How to force Amaryllis bulbs?
For some of us, waiting for amaryllis flowers to bloom can try our patience. Fortunately, we may persuade the bulbs that it’s time to bloom. There are several methods to do this, and they can be successful depending on the conditions and the bulbs you are using. You can choose the one that is more convenient for you or try several to see which one is the most successful.
The amaryllis bulbs are native to South America, specifically Peru, and were introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century. The amaryllis you buy today is probably a hybrid of the species amaryllis belladonna and amaryllis paradisicola. The common name, amaryllis, is derived from the Greek word for “to sparkle.”
The large, showy amaryllis blooms add color to the winter landscape in much the same way that poinsettias do at Christmas. The flowers are borne on leafless stalks 18 to 24 inches tall and come in various colors, including:
- and bi-color.
The amaryllis bulb is composed of thick, fleshy scales or “leaves” that store water and nutrients. A mature amaryllis bulb is about 4 to 6 inches in diameter and contains all the food and water the plant needs to bloom.
The amaryllis plant grows from a bulb and produces large, showy flowers on long stalks. The blooms come in a variety of colors, which makes them perfect decorations for your window sill or any other place in the apartment. However, like any other flowers, they bloom in spring or summer. Luckily, there are methods on how to force amaryllis bulbs to bloom in winter to brighten your home and bring joy to grayish days.
Watering and Fertilizing
When you water your amaryllis, always use lukewarm water. Cold water can shock the system and damage the roots. Water the plant when the soil feels dry to the touch, but don’t let it dry out completely. Fertilize your plant every two weeks with a common houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength.
Light and Temperature
Amaryllis bulbs need a period of 12 to 16 weeks of cool temperatures (60-65°F/15.5-18.3°C) before they will bloom. This can be accomplished in several ways:
- You can purchase a special amaryllis bulb for forcing from a catalog or garden center. These have been treated to flower at the appropriate time.
- You can store your bulbs in the refrigerator for 12 to 16 weeks before potting them up and forcing them to bloom. Be sure to wrap them in plastic so they don’t dry out.
If you live in an area with cool winters, you can plant the bulbs in October or November and allow them to experience naturally cool temperatures.
After the cool period, the amaryllis needs a period of warmth (70-80°F/21-26.7°C) and light to flower. The length of this period varies with the type of amaryllis but is usually around 8 weeks.
You can provide warmth and light by potting up the bulbs and placing them in a sunny window. If you don’t have a sunny window, you can provide artificial light by placing the pot under grow lights or a fluorescent light fixture for 14 to 16 hours per day. There is also such an option as amaryllis forcing vase, which simplifies the process.
When the Flower Stalks Appear
Once the flower stalks appear, turn the pot so that the stalks grow straight. If they are leaning, they may fall over when the flowers open.
When the Flowers Open
The flowers will last longer if you keep the plant cool (60-65°F/15.5-18.3°C) and out of direct sunlight. If the flowers start to wilt, you can revive them by cutting an inch off the bottom of the stalk and placing it in a vase of lukewarm water.
After the Flowers Fade
Once the flowers fade, cut off the flower stalks. Continue to water and fertilize the plant, and it will produce new leaves. Once the weather warms up, you can move the plant outdoors. Be sure to acclimate it slowly to avoid shocking the system. After a few weeks, you can cut back on the watering and fertilizing and allow the plant to go dormant.
Indoor gardening Amaryllis in conclusion
Remember this top tip for indoor gardening amaryllis. Dormant amaryllis bulbs can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to six months. When you know how to force an amaryllis and are ready to do this again, just pot them up and follow the instructions above. With a little care, your amaryllis plant will provide you with beautiful blooms year after year.
Further reading about indoor gardening, pets and housesitters
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