There’s nothing as spectacular as magnificent Amaryllis in bloom. It’s hardly surprising that they’ve inspired poets and they certainly inspired you. But what should you do with them now that the flowers have faded? Should you just pull them out and assume your bulb is over and done with?

Did you know you can re-flower Amaryllis bulbs?

Don’t waste your prize Amaryllis bulbs! Your task after flowering is to work with nature, ensuring that the bulb, which has spent so much nutrition in producing those unbelievable flowers, is able to replenish its reserves and form new bud embryos inside the bulb. Since nature does most of the work, it’s mainly a matter of patience.

Preparing your bulbs for dormancy

Remove the spent blooms but not the flower stem. You don’t want the bulb to spend any more energy on the flowers, but the stem is packed with nutrition that can go back into the bulb if you allow it to. After a time, you will see that the stem turns yellow and flops over. At this time, you can cut it down to the top of the bulb. Leave the leaves alone for now as they must reach full maturity, producing lots of energy that can be stored by the bulb in the fall when it is ready to enter dormancy.

In the fall, you will notice that the leaves have begun to yellow. That’s because all the nutrition in the leaves is moving into the bulb, preparing it for winter dormancy. Reduce watering at this stage of its growth. This helps the bulb to enter full dormancy and prevents rot from damaging your precious flower bulb. When the leaves have yellowed completely, you can cut them back to about two inches from the bulb itself.

Amaryllis bulbs

Lift and store

Now that your bulb has got the most out of the growing season, it’s time to lift it and store it away. Take it out of the ground, dust off any soil that is clinging to the bulb and store it in a well ventilated container such as a paper bag or a box with a little peat. Storage temperatures should be cool but not cold, so a well-ventilated, unheated room is a perfect place to put it. If you live in a very hot climate, you may want to store it in the fridge. Choose a darker spot like your veggie drawer and never put apples in the fridge with your Amaryllis since this may cause the flowers to abort. Now let your bulb ‘sleep’ for a minimum of two months.

Forcing your stored bulb

If you’d like your Amaryllis to flower at a specific time, say Christmas, you can mark your planting time on your calendar by counting back 7 to 10 weeks from the time you would like to see blooms. You can plant your bulbs any time from October to April, but early bulbs will have to be grown indoors in colder climates. Looking after your bulbs after they’ve flowered means that you can enjoy flowers year after year – and it’s very rewarding to see the blooms emerge the next time around.

Didn't get to ordering and planting Amaryllis bulbs this year? Give it a try! Check out all the gorgeous Amaryllis bulb varieties that you can choose from.

Planting Amaryllis