Even the time of the most beautiful amaryllis is over once – but only its flowering period. With proper care bulbous plant blooms again next winter.
Amaryllis or delphiniums (Hippeastrum) often end up in the trash when their gorgeous star-shaped flowers have wilted. As bulbous plants, however, they are anything but disposable. If you take the idiosyncratic rhythm of life of this tropical beauty into account when caring for them, they will bloom again the next winter.
Unlike our native bulb flowers, which are oriented to the seasons, amaryllis do not move in immediately, but use the summer as a growth phase. It is not until August that a short rest period begins before the bulbous plant sprouts fresh and pushes up new flowers shortly before Christmas. In this way, the amaryllis follows the cycle of dry and rainy seasons in its subtropical home of South America.
What to do after flowering
- cut off the withered flowers of the amaryllis, including the stem, so that only the leaves remain.
- continue to water the plant regularly (but avoid waterlogging). Mix some liquid fertilizer into the watering every 2 weeks to stimulate leaf growth.
- during the summer, the amaryllis gathers strength. From May, when frost is no longer expected, you can also place the plant outdoors in a sheltered, semi-shaded spot. Avoid blazing sun and water preferably through the saucer to protect the delicate bulb from moisture.
After the growth phase in summer, the dormant phase of the amaryllis begins in August: slowly reduce the amount of watering until August and finally stop watering from August onwards. The leaves will then dry out.
- place the dormant plant in a cool, dark place at about 15 ° C. Do not water!
- pot the bulb in November in new substrate (preferably cactus soil or a mixture of potting soil and sand). The pot should be only slightly larger than the bulb itself and sufficiently stable. A layer of expanded clay serves as drainage and protects the bulb from waterlogging. The correct planting depth is based on the thickest part of the bulb – the soil should reach that point. About half to one-third of the bulb protrudes from the soil.
To ensure that the amaryllis blooms at Christmas time, slowly start watering again in mid to late November – preferably via the saucer. Now place the plant back in a bright, warm spot at 18 to 20 °C. Within 4 to 6 weeks it will sprout new leaves and flower stems.
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