Amaryllis plants have become super popular winter blooming plants, and are especially popular during the holidays. But since they have the reputation of being disposable gift plants, many people toss their amaryllis plant out once it’s done blooming. This is really sad because not only do they make great houseplants, it’s also really easy to rebloom your amaryllis year after year.
The first time I got myself an amayrllis plant, I thought that it would rebloom on it’s own every winter. So I kept it growing as a houseplant, and it was one of my favorites. But, after a few years of growing it, my amaryllis never rebloomed and I had no idea why. Well, it turns out it had never rebloomed because I was missing a crucial step in the process…
The Critical Step For Reblooming Amaryllis Bulbs
The crucial step? Giving the bulb a rest period. So simple!
Once I figured that out, I have been able to rebloom my amaryllis plants every year, and it’s super easy! So, if you want to try to rebloom your amaryllis, you simply need to allow the bulb to go into a natural dormancy phase. Let it rest for a few weeks and that will trigger it to rebloom. And the funny thing is that amaryllis bulbs will flower so prolifically when they’re given the proper treatment that they can bloom even if they aren’t growing in dirt. Crazy, right!?!
Easy Steps To Rebloom Your Amaryllis Plants
The steps to rebloom your amaryllis start as soon as the flowers fade. You want to make sure your amaryllis plants produce enough energy to store in the bulbs so that the bulb will rebloom next year. Sounds hard but it’s really very easy.
Step 1: Remove the flower spike – As soon as your amaryllis flowers fade and die, cut off the flower spike down to the top of the bulb. This will allow the bulb to start building energy right away for next years bloom.
Step 2: Keep the leaves growing – Grow your amaryllis as a houseplant through the winter, keeping it in a sunny location and leave the foliage growing. If you don’t have much natural light in your home, I suggest getting a grow light. Amaryllis plants make great houseplants, and have lovely thick green foliage.
Step 3: Move it outside in the spring – Move your amaryllis plant outside to a sunny location once all chance of frost is gone in the spring. Just like any houseplant you move outside in the spring, you’ll want to slowly acclimate your amaryllis plant to full sunlight or the leaves could burn.
Step 4: Fertilize your amaryllis – For best results, fertilize your plant regularly during the spring and summer months. I recommend using an organic fertilizer rather than a chemical one, or you could risk damaging your plant (plus organic fertilizers work so much better!). My favorite types of organic plant fertilizers are fish emulsion and compost tea. It’s not essential to keep on a rigid fertilizing schedule, I’ve had success reblooming amaryllis even when I didn’t fertilize the plant at all. Just make sure you stop fertilizing a few weeks before you decide you want to move the plant indoors.
Step 5: Move the plant indoors – I move my amaryllis plants indoors right before frost in the fall. If you want to rebloom your amaryllis for Christmas, then you’ll need to move it inside in about mid-August.
Storing Amaryllis Bulbs
Step 6: Allow your amaryllis plant to go dormant – Here’s the crucial step to rebloom your amaryllis that I mentioned above (the one that I was missing for the first few years of growing amaryllis). Your plant needs a rest period in order to bloom, so move it to a cool, dark location. An unheated basement or a garage where it stays above freezing are great choices (never allow your amaryllis flower bulbs to freeze). You can leave your amaryllis bulb right in the pot if you prefer, or you can store your bulbs bare root. I usually store mine in their pots because it’s one less step, but some people swear their amaryllis blooms better when they store the bulbs bare root.
Step 7: Wait for 6-8 weeks – Store your amaryllis bulbs for 6-8 weeks. During this time, you’ll want to completely ignore them. Allow the soil and the bulb to dry out completely, and don’t water it at all while it’s in storage. The leaves will usually die back completely, so you can remove them as they dry up if you want, or just leave them be.
Repotting Amaryllis Bulbs
Step 8: Bring your amaryllis bulbs out of storage – If you stored your bulbs bare root or your bulbs have outgrown their pots, then repot them up using a general purpose potting soil. Don’t bury the bulb too deep though, 1/2 to 1/3 of the bulb should be above the soil line. You also don’t want to use too large of a pot, it should be less than twice the diameter of the bulb. If you plan to leave your amaryllis flower bulbs growing in their current pot, then you can skip this step.
Step 9: Break their dormancy – Move your amaryllis flower bulbs into a warm, sunny spot and give them a good drink of water. Adding bottom heat will help break their dormancy faster (you can use the same heat mat as you use for germinating seeds). Some bulbs will start to grow within days of moving them to a sunny spot, others could take 4-6 weeks before showing signs of life. Be patient.
How To Care For Amaryllis Plants Once They Start Growing
It’s super exciting to see the first signs of life on your amaryllis bulbs after you break their dormancy! I’ve been reblooming amaryllis for years, and I still get giddy when I see them start to grow, especially when the flower spike starts to peek it’s head out.
Keep in mind that sometimes the leaves will start to grow before the flower spike, and sometimes the flower spike will come first. You can tell the difference right away because the leaves will be flat and thin, and the flower spike will be thick and fat. Don’t worry if your amaryllis starts growing leaves first, that doesn’t mean it won’t bloom. Also, depending on the age and size of your amaryllis bulbs, they might grow more than one flower spike. That’s always such a treat!
As soon as your amaryllis starts to grow a flower spike, you’ll want to make sure it’s getting plenty of light. Amaryllis flower spikes grow really fast, and will reach for the light. They can also grow really tall and skinny if they don’t get enough light, which makes the stems weak and they might not be able to support the weight of the flower. So, add a grow light if you need to, and make sure to rotate the pot daily so the flower spike will grow straight up.
Quick Amaryllis Care Tips
- Water your amaryllis freely during the active growing season, but allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering
- Never overwater amaryllis plants or the bulb will eventually rot
- Though they will grow in low light conditions, amaryllis plants need full sun in order to rebloom
- Once the flower spike starts to grow, rotate the pot daily to make sure it grows straight up
- Give your amaryllis plenty of light as the flower spike grows, or it will be tall and weak
For complete amaryllis care instructions, click here
Amaryllis plants are very easy to care for, and make wonderful houseplants. If you treat your amaryllis right, you’ll have a reblooming amaryllis bulb for years to come! It will even produce babies as it get older, which can be removed and potted on their own, though it will take a few years before these babies will have blooms of their own.
More Posts About Flowering Houseplants
- How To Care For Holiday Amaryllis Gift Plants
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- 15 Of The Best Flowering Houseplants
- Peace Lily Plant Care Guide
- Begonia Plant Care and Growing Guide
For more information about different types of houseplants for your indoor gardening space, click here… Houseplant Types
Do you rebloom your amaryllis plants every year? Share your experience and tips in the comments section below.