Waxed amaryllis bulbs are popular around the holidays, and it’s very fun to watch them bloom without any water or soil. In this detailed guide, I’ll show you all you need to know about how they work, what to do with them, and give you tips for the best results.
The low-maintenance nature of waxed amaryllis bulbs makes them a popular gift for Christmas and the holidays.
But how they work and whether they can live longer than one season is a question beginners often ask.
This guide about waxed amaryllis bulbs will teach you everything about how they grow, what to do with them after blooming, and more.
What Is A Waxed Amaryllis?
A waxed amaryllis is a bulb that’s coated in decorative wax and sold as a gift during the holidays. They usually get between 2-3 flower stalks, each of which have up to 4 blooms.
They require almost no care because they’re already fully hydrated, which the wax seals in, so they don’t need any added water to bloom. For that reason, they’re sometimes called waterless amaryllis.
Why Do They Wax Amaryllis Bulbs?
Waxed amaryllis bulbs are made and sold as holiday or Christmas gifts that you can find online or in stores. The draw is that they will produce big, beautiful flowers with almost no effort.
In addition, the wax can come in various colors and styles, which makes them beautiful and festive living decorations.
They don’t require soil or a pot, so anyone can enjoy the blooming bulb as a nice centerpiece during the holidays. No green thumb required.
How Do Amaryllis Bulbs Grow In Wax?
The bulbs contain everything that the flower stalks need to grow and bloom. They’re fully hydrated and have enough energy built up, so they don’t need soil or water.
The wax helps retain the moisture so they don’t dry out prematurely, but otherwise it’s purely decorative.
How Long Does It Take For A Waxed Amaryllis to Bloom?
It doesn’t usually take very long for a waxed amaryllis to bloom. They should open between 3-6 weeks after you get them, but sometimes they’re faster or slower.
The speed depends on how much light they receive and the temperature they’re kept in.
How Long Do Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs Last?
Once they open, a waxed amaryllis bulb can bloom for up to 4 weeks, but the plant will last much longer.
Usually one stalk will flower at a time and then begin to fade as the next one prepares to open.
You can cut off the spent ones about 1 inch above the bulb to speed up new blossoms, and possibly encourage another flower stalk.
How To Care For A Waxed Amaryllis
Caring for a waterless amaryllis couldn’t be easier. There are just a few things to keep in mind if you’d like to enjoy the flowers for as long as possible. My tips below will help you be successful.
Do You Need To Water Waxed Amaryllis?
There’s no need to water a waxed amaryllis. The bulbs contain all the moisture they need, and the wax coating keeps them from drying out.
Their waterless nature is a big part of what makes them so effortless to care for, and such a popular gift.
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
Do Waterless Amaryllis Need Sunlight?
Light is one of the few requirements you will need to worry about for your waxed amaryllis bulb.
They prefer bright light, rather than direct sunlight. If they don’t receive enough the stalks can become very tall and leggy as they reach toward it.
If you don’t have a bright enough setting, use a grow light to supplement. If you want to display them as part of your decor, they’ll be fine there for several hours. Just move them back to the light during the day.
My Waxed Amaryllis Bulb Is Not Growing
If your waxed amaryllis is not growing it could be caused by lack of light or cold temperatures.
Give them at least 6 weeks before you begin to worry. They take on average between 4-6 weeks, but sometimes longer.
Otherwise try moving it to a warmer and brighter setting. Add a grow light if necessary, and make sure they’re kept between 70-75°F.
What To Do With Waxed Amaryllis After It Blooms
Once the flowers fade, most people throw it away. But it’s actually possible to keep and reuse it for many years to come.
Can Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs Rebloom?
Yes, it’s possible for your waxed amaryllis to rebloom, depending on how they’re managed afterwards.
During the first season it’s okay to trim off the flower stalks, but don’t remove any of the leaves.
How To Plant Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs
If you want to try planting your waxed amaryllis bulbs to keep them, you can do so once the flowers have faded.
Choose a container not much larger than the bulb, and plant them in a quality potting soil.
Keep them indoors until the chance of frost has passed, and care for them as you would a regular amaryllis.
But before planting them you’ll need to remove the wax first, and sometimes that can be easier said than done.
How To Remove Wax From Amaryllis Bulbs
Removing the wax from amaryllis bulbs is usually pretty simple, but sometimes it can pose a challenge, so below are my tips.
The bub will usually shrink a bit, making the wax looser and easier to peel off. So, often 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 go slowly.
Sometimes there will be a plastic liner underneath, or a metal stand on the bottom. So be sure to remove both of those from the bulb as well.
Here I’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about waxed amaryllis bulbs. If yours isn’t on the list, please add it to the comments section below.
Can you save a waxed amaryllis?
Yes you can save a waxed amaryllis as long as they’re potted up and cared for correctly after blooming.
How often do you water a waxed amaryllis?
You don’t need to water a waxed amaryllis at all, that’s why they’re called “waterless”. The bulbs contain all the moisture they need to grow and bloom.
Can waxed amaryllis bulbs be reused?
Yes, waxed amaryllis bulbs can be reused. Simply remove the wax and pot them up into a container that’s slightly larger than the bulb.
Can you replant a waxed amaryllis bulb?
Yes, you can replant a waxed amaryllis bulb. Once you remove the wax, you can plant it in regular potting soil or outside in the garden.
A waxed amaryllis bulb is a beautiful gift for the holidays. With the tips in this guide you’ll be able to enjoy the blooms the first year, and potentially for many more.
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Share your tips about caring for waxed amaryllis in the comments section below.