Amaryllis: How to grow
The stunning, velvety trumpet flower of the Amaryllis has made it one of the most popular indoor plants.
Literally millions of these amazing bulbs are sold every year and each one yields at least one stem of 2-4 flowers per bulb. The larger bulbs can even produce 2-3 stems each.
Amaryllis are extremely easy to grow and are available in a wide choice of colours.
They are best planted in October, November and December and can provide a welcome addition of colour to your home during the cold winter months and particularly over the Christmas period.
Choose large plump bulbs as soon as they are available in autumn and winter.
Plant the bulbs as soon as you buy them in a heavy clay pot (this is for balance, as Amaryllis flowers on tall stems can be very top heavy). Make sure the pot has a hole in the bottom and choose a sturdy saucer (or a spare kitchen saucer if you’re stuck!) to collect any excess water.
Spread the fleshy roots of the Amaryllis bulb on top of this compost. The neck of the bulb needs to protrude out of the pot by about a third.
Make sure the sides of the bulbs do not touch each other, or the sides of the pot.
Fill in around the bulb with more compost, firming it in gently.
Water thoroughly and allow any excess water to drain off into the saucer.
Position your potted Amaryllis bulb in a light position in a draught free room. A windowsill is ideal, but keep the bulb away from radiators as soon as the flower bud starts appear.
As a rule, the bulbs will flower 6-8 weeks after planting. Normally the flower bud appears before the leaves.
Keep the compost just moist, allowing it to dry out slightly in between watering. If the conditions are too warm the flower stem may grow taller and weaker and may need staking.
10 tips for perfect amaryllis blooms
- Place in a bright spot away from drafts and central heating
- Keep the temperature at around 21C until flowers buds start to open
- Do not let compost dry out, but avoid watering over the bulb – only wet the compost
- Turn the pot every few days to stop the flower stem from bending towards the light
- When the flower buds start to open move the plant to a cooler position to slow it down and extend the flowering period
- If you don’t have a cold room, mist spray the foliage of the plants to raise humidity
- Feed every two weeks with Westland Indoor Plant food
- Once the flowers fade, remove them from the stem
- Allow the stem to die back naturally, drawing energy back into the
- Keep watering and feeding and you will likely be rewarded with a second flower spike