Growing amaryllis in water is a fun project, and looks cool too. It’s easy to do, and you can get really creative with it. In this post, I will give you step-by-step instructions for how to plant an amaryllis bulb in water, and share some simple care tips too.
Planting amaryllis in water rather than dirt is a cute way to display them for the holidays, and it’s a really fun DIY project too. They can’t be grown in water forever. But, when done correctly, they will survive long enough to bloom.
Below you’ll learn exactly how to force amaryllis bulbs in water. Plus I’ll give you some simple care tips, and I’ll also discuss the cons of doing it (just in case you decide to change your mind).
If you want to learn all about growing them and keeping them for years to come, then be sure to read my complete amaryllis plant care guide.
Growing Amaryllis In Water
In order to grow amaryllis in water, all you need is an amaryllis bulb, and a couple of items you can find around the house…
- Flower vase or bulb vase
- Decorative pebbles, glass marbles, or rocks
- Bare root amaryllis bulb
- Floral snips or bonsai shears
- Room temperature water
Steps For Planting An Amaryllis Bulb In Water
This is a super easy project, and only takes about 20 minutes to complete once you have collected all of your supplies. Here are the detailed step-by-step instructions…
Step 1: Choose your vase – Any flower vase you have on hand will work. Or you can buy one that’s specifically made for forcing bulbs in water. Be sure to use one that’s proportionate to the size of the bulb though, you don’t want to go too large.
Step 2: Choose the pebbles – The pebbles are not only for decoration, but they also help to stabilize the bulb, and hold it up and out of the water. You could use decorative rock or glass marbles rather than pebbles.
If you use a bulb vase, and your bulb can sit on top of the rim, then you won’t need any pebbles (unless you like them for decorative purposes).
Step 3: Trim off any dead roots – Before you grow amaryllis in water, you should check the roots. Use your floral snips to remove any that aren’t firm and white. Dead or damaged roots will decay, and make the water get yucky (and stinky) very quickly.
Step 4: Rinse dirt off the roots – If the bulb was previously growing in dirt, then you’ll want to rinse any remaining debris and soil off the roots before planting the bulb in water. This will help to keep the water clear and fresh longer too.
Step 5: Position your amaryllis bulb in the vase – Position the bulb in the vase at the level you want it. If your vase is shallow, you can trim the roots a bit to make the bulb sit lower.
If your amaryllis bulb doesn’t have any roots yet, then you can fill the vase with pebbles first (step 6), and place the bulb (pointy side up) on top of the pebbles.
Step 6: Add pebbles to your vase – Slowly add your rocks, pebbles or marbles to the vase. If you’re working with a glass vase, take care not to drop them in, or it could break the glass. You might find it easier to tilt the vase sideways so the rocks will slide into the bottom slower.
Rotate the vase as you work to fill it with pebbles so that your bulb stays centered in the vase, and to hide as many of the roots as you can. You can also gently shake the vase so the pebbles will settle evenly.
Step 7: Fill vase with tepid water – Fill the vase so that the water line is below the bottom of the bulb. The trick to successfully growing amaryllis in water is to make sure the bulb never touches the water.
So, when you fill it up, ensure the bulb is completely above the water line, or it will only rot. And take it from someone who has made this mistake before, a rotting amaryllis bulb does NOT smell good. (GAG!)
Step 8: Place your bulbs in a sunny location – Once your amaryllis is planted in water, move it to a warm, sunny spot, and within a few weeks it should start to grow.
Sometimes the leaves will grow first, and sometimes the flower will. Don’t worry if the leaves start to grow first, that doesn’t mean your amaryllis won’t bloom.
How To Care For Amaryllis Bulbs In Water
Caring for an amaryllis growing in water is a bit different than caring for them in soil. Here are some tips for the best success…
- Keep an eye on the water level to make sure it doesn’t evaporate completely, you never want the roots to dry out.
- Try to maintain the water level so it stays just below the bottom of the bulb at all times. Remember, if the bulb is ever left sitting in water, it will rot.
- Make sure to keep the water fresh so that it stays clean. Flush the vase with fresh water once a week for best results.
- When your amaryllis starts to bloom, the flower spike will grow quickly. They tend to reach towards the light, so turn the vase every day in order to keep it growing straight. You could also add a grow light.
The Downside Of Forcing Amaryllis Bulbs In Water
Growing amaryllis bulbs in water is a fun project, and can add a lovely dramatic effect to your Christmas or holiday decor, but… there is a downside.
Amaryllis bulbs grown in water will usually need to be thrown out because they won’t grow very well afterward.
However, if the bulb is firm, and isn’t showing any signs of rot after you remove it from the water, then you certainly could try planting it in soil. But it may take a few years of growing it in dirt before your amaryllis will bloom again.
Growing amaryllis in water is a fun project, and can add a unique flair to your holiday decor. With proper care, you will be rewarded with gorgeous blooms in a few short weeks.
Do you strive to grow beautiful houseplants, but struggle keeping them alive through the winter? Then my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is exactly what you need! It will show you everything you need to know in order to keep them thriving year round! Download your copy today!
Products Used For This Project
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- How To Grow Indoor Plants: The Ultimate Guide
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Have you ever tried growing amaryllis in water before? Share your tips in the comments section below.