Few plants bring more cheerful smiles indoors during the dark, cold days of winter than the bright, bold blooms of potted amaryllis.
When forced into bloom indoors, these flowering bulbs send up spectacular trumpet-shaped blooms that can reach 10 inches in diameter and delight in a wide array of colors, including red, pink, orange, salmon, white and bi-colors. Each stalk, ranging from 24 to 36 inches tall, can yield two to six lily-like blooms – some varieties produce singles, others doubles.
Allow the soil to dry a little (but remaining still moist) before watering again, typically once a week. As green growth appears, move the pot to a sunny window and feed the plant a water-soluble fertilizer, repeating every two to four weeks. As the stalk emerges and grows, turn the pot often to keep the stalk from leaning.
Typically, flower buds will form and blossom within six weeks of planting. When this happens, move the pot to a cooler location that doesn’t receive direct sunlight, in order to prolong the flowers – and to enjoy this taste of spring while it lasts!
Once the flowers have faded, cut the stalk back to a couple inches above the bulb and return the pot to a sunny window, watering as the soil becomes dry. By late May, the bulb can be transplanted outdoors until next fall.