Good quality bulbs can have up to 6 flowers on each stem and will produce up to 3 flower stalks during one bloom cycle.
The beautiful lily-like flowers come in a wide range of colors and can grow to be up to 10" across. No wonder they are such popular holiday gifts! Amaryllis provide a generous splash of fresh color to your holiday decor.
Not all amaryllis bulbs are created equal! A good quality bulb is a must if you want a spectacular show. Generally, the larger the bulb, the larger the flowers, the more flowers/stem, and the more stems per bulb. If properly cared for, these bulbs can last year after year.
Amaryllis bulbs can be potted in a pot with potting soil, or simply placed in a large vase with pebbles or glass marbles to grow with just a little water (this method is cleaner and more decorative in the home since there is no messy soil). Growing "kits" can be purchased from a variety of sources, but again, be sure you can see the bulb so you know what you are getting. Whichever growing method you choose, it is important that you keep the upper portion of the bulb dry. Take care when you water to avoid getting water on this part of the bulb. Place your amaryllis bulb in a warm, sunny location while the flower stalk is growing, but as soon as the first flower opens, move the plant to a cooler location out of direct sunlight. This will prolong the life to the flowers.
When all the blooms on a stem have faded, cut the stalk off about 2" from the base - be careful not to injure the foliage. After all the stems have been cut back, move the pot or vase back to a bright, sunny window to grow. At every second watering, add a half dose of liquid bulb booster or African Violet fertilizer. When nighttime temperatures remain above 60 degrees F, you can transplant your amaryllis bulbs outside in a sunny location to grow for the summer.
Between September and October, dig your amaryllis bulb from the ground, cut the foliage back to 2", and carefully clean the dirt from the bulb. Place the dry bulb in a cool place for 8 to 10 weeks (40-55°F is ideal). You can store the bulbs in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator but do not store in a refrigerator with apples! If your bulb is in a pot, do not water or feed it during this rest period. Once you see the tip of a new flower stalk emerging from the bulb, you can place the bulb in its growing container (either vase with pebbles or pot with soil), and move it to a warm, sunny area indoors. Soon you will have beautiful flowers to decorate your home for the winter!