Waxed amaryllis bulbs are popular around the holidays, and it’s very fun to watch them bloom without any water or potting soil.
In this detailed guide I will teach you everything you need to know about how they work, how to care for them, what to do after they flower, and much more.
I’ll also answer some of your most common questions to make sure you get the best results and so that you can keep your waxed amaryllis to grow again, season after season.
What Is A Waxed Amaryllis?
A waxed amaryllis is a dormant bulb that is coated in a decorative protective wax and commonly sold as a gift around Christmas time. They’re completely self-sustaining and contain everything that the plant needs to grow and bloom.
The bulbs come fully hydrated, so you don’t have to add any water, which is why they’re sometimes called “waterless amaryllis”. They also have enough energy built up, so they don’t need any type of potting soil, they’ll grow right out of the wax.
The big draw is that they will produce gorgeous flowers with almost no effort. Depending on the type, they’ll usually get between 2-3 stalks, each of which has up to 4 blossoms.
Why Are The Bulbs Waxed?
The wax coating works to seal in the moisture so the amaryllis bulb won’t dry out, and it also creates a beautiful and festive container for them.
This way anyone can enjoy them as a living decoration or nice centerpiece during the holidays. No green thumb necessary!
The Blooming Process
It doesn’t usually take very long for a waxed amaryllis to bloom. The flowers should open in about 3-6 weeks, but sometimes they’re faster or slower. The more light and warmth you give them, the faster they will grow.
Once open, the blossoms can last for up to 4 weeks. Usually one stalk will flower at a time, and then begin to fade as the next one develops. When they’re done, you can cut the stem down to about 1 inch above the bulb to help encourage the new stalks to open faster.
Related Post: How To Get Your Amaryllis To Rebloom Step By Step
How To Care For A Waxed Amaryllis
Caring for these bulbs couldn’t be easier. They don’t need any water, but they do need plenty of bright light and warmth to grow and bloom to their full potential. Follow my tips below for the best success.
There’s no need to water a waxed amaryllis. The bulbs contain all the moisture they need, and the coating prevents them from drying out.
In fact you shouldn’t try to water them or the excess moisture could end up rotting the bulb or causing it to mold.
Related Post: How To Grow Amaryllis In Water
Light is one of the few requirements you’ll need to worry about for your waxed amaryllis bulbs. They prefer bright indirect light rather than direct sun. If they don’t receive enough, the stalks can get very tall and leggy as they reach for the nearest window.
If your home doesn’t get much sun, use a grow light to supplement. If you want to display the bulbs as part of your holiday decor, they’ll be fine in a dark location for several hours. Just move them back to the light during the day.
Your bulb also needs a warm location to grow. Ideally you should place it in a spot where the temperature stays between 65-75° F.
If it’s too cold it will take much longer to flower, but if it’s too hot the wax could start to melt. If the room is cool, try running a space heater to warm it up.
My Waxed Amaryllis Bulb Is Not Growing
If your waxed amaryllis is not growing, it’s usually caused by lack of light or cold temperatures. But yours might just be slow.
They can take between 4-6 weeks on average to sprout, but sometimes it’s longer. So give it at least 6 weeks before you begin to worry.
To speed up the process, make sure it’s in a warm and bright setting. Add a grow light if necessary, and keep the temperature between 65-75° F.
What To Do With Amaryllis In Wax After It Blooms
You can save your waxed amaryllis after it’s done flowering, and even get it to bloom again year after year. Simply remove the wax covering and pot the bulb up into regular soil so it can root.
Trim off the stems, but don’t remove any of the leaves, and continue giving your plant plenty of light. Here are the specific aftercare steps to take.
How To Plant Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs
If you want to try planting your bulb to keep it for the long term, wait until it’s done flowering. Then remove the wax and plant it in a container that’s slightly larger than the bulb using quality potting soil, or outside in your garden if it’s warm enough.
If it’s cold where you live, keep it indoors during the winter and care for it as you would a regular amaryllis plant. Once all chance of frost is gone, you can move it outside for the summer.
How To Remove The Wax
Removing the wax layer from amaryllis bulbs is usually pretty simple. But sometimes it can be challenging, so below are my tips.
- The bulb will usually shrink a bit, making the wax looser and easier to peel off. So usually you can just gently squeeze it, which will cause the wax to crack, and then peel it off.
- If it doesn’t break easily, carefully use a sharp knife to cut the wax. Avoid nicking the bulb, and make sure to go slowly.
- Sometimes there will be a plastic liner underneath the coating or a metal stand on the bottom of the bulb. Always make sure to remove both of those before replanting it.
Related Post: How To Store Amaryllis Bulbs For The Winter
Yes you can save and reuse your waxed amaryllis for many years, and it’s easy. Simply remove the wax, pot up the bulb, put your plant in a sunny window, and keep the soil on the dry side.
It takes about 3-6 weeks for the bulb to flower, on average. To make it bloom faster, give it plenty of bright light and warmth.
Yes, you can replant it. Just remove the wax, then either put your amaryllis bulb in a pot indoors, or plant it outside in the garden.
If you leave it in wax, your amaryllis bulb will only last for a few months. The flowers will start to fade after 3-4 weeks, but the bulb can live for many years if you remove the coating and care for the plant properly.
If you want to learn all there is to know about maintaining healthy indoor plants, then you need my Houseplant Care eBook. It will show you everything you need to know about how to keep every plant in your home thriving. Download your copy now!
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Share your tips about caring for waxed amaryllis in the comments section below.