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Amaryllis Holiday Blooms

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Growing Amaryllis is Simple

Why wait for spring when you can have bright, colorful holiday blooms? Now is the time to start. Growing amaryllis indoors is simple – just follow these few steps:

1. Select the biggest and best-looking bulbs that are free of cuts, bruises and insect holes. Small bulbs will be more economical but do not produce as well. You can take advantage of local nurseries/garden centers, although online mail-ordering offers the most varieties. Bulbs will be dormant. Planting indoors now should produce blooms in six to eight weeks. Count backwards from the desired bloom time.. 

2. Amaryllis have very large, top-heavy blooms. Clay pots provide the most stability. Choose ones that are six to eight inches wide and allow at least one inch clearance between the bulb and the pot rim.

3. Plant in well-draining potting soil, positioning the bulb neck above the soil surface. Soil from the garden/outdoors holds too much moisture for indoor growth media. Bulbs inherently have all the ‘food’ they need. No need to fertilize. Top the soil with moss or small pebbles for a finishing touch.

4. Position the pot in a sunny window receiving indirect light and maintain evenly-moist soil. Drip trays protect table/counter surfaces. Rotate the pot by one half every few days after a stalk has emerged to develop straight growth. Large blooms will appear at the end of the bloom stalk. If necessary, use a small wire or wooden support, similar to ones used for orchids, found at most nurseries. Secure stalk with pretty raffia or simple jute twine

5. Strap-shaped leaves appear from the top of the bulb after the bloom stalk has emerged. Flowers can be left on the plant or cut to make an attractive display when combined with other seasonal flowers and greenery. Cut flowers can last up to two weeks by trimming stalks a few inches above the bulb. All leaves remain attached to the bulb as it stores energy for next year’s blooms.

6. Keep the plant indoors, watering when the soil feels dry, in the same sunny location but out of direct light and enjoy your holiday blooms. In April, transplant to a well-drained location in the garden outside for a spring display the following year. Happy Growing!

For more gardening tips, visit lsuagcenter.com.

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