I cannot walk into a nursery or florist at this time of year without taking home a holiday plant or two. Amaryllis bulbs fall high on my list. I also usually include a poinsettia, paperwhites, and other favourites. I feel like holiday blooms are festive necessities like the retro decorations I’ve had since I was a kid!
Some years, I plant my amaryllis from a bulb, but others I opt for a plant that has already been potted and looks promising in terms of growth. I look for straight, sturdy stems. I also give the plant a good once over to make sure I’m not bringing home any pests to my other plants. Last year I almost grabbed a potted amaryllis bulb and it had fungus gnats flying around it!
If you bring an amaryllis bulb home to plant yourself, here are some planting tips.
- Soak the bulb’s roots in lukewarm water for a few hours.
- Plant the bulb in a container that’s only an inch or so larger than the bulb itself, using a lightweight potting soil. When planted, the top third of the bulb should remain above the soil.
- Place the pot in a warm spot in direct light, and only water it when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
- Once the bud and leaves appear, begin to water it more thoroughly.
- It takes about six to 10 weeks for an amaryllis to bloom.