Have you been eyeing these super voluptuous flowering bulbs and debating about getting some? Amaryllis is a popular holiday indoor plant but did you know you can grow them in your garden? Let us teach you how to pot it up and enjoy any time of year!
We have some gorgeous Amaryllis color combinations. Most of the time you'll see these in the fall and winter months for mid winter and during the holiday season but there's no reason to wait around until then. You can have your cake and eat it too right now! In fact, if you live in warmer climates in plant hardiness zones 8-10, you can keep them in the ground all year long for re-blooming each year.
You may be wondering what to expect out of your bulbs and how many leaves or flowers will it produce when it sprouts? Or, what size will my bulb be, and why does that make a difference?
We’ll answer those questions for you and more!
Amaryllis Bulb Sizing
Amaryllis are showstoppers and come in a combination of reds, pinks, and whites. Centimeter measurements are the standard for interpreting sizing on Amaryllis bulbs. The widest part of the bulb or its circumference is the number to notice. They can range from 8 cm to 34/36 cm—consequently, the bigger the bulb, the thicker and sturdier stems and flowers they produce. Larger bulbs are more mature and store more energy, and therefore make more blooms or leaves.
Of course, soil, light, rain, and fertilizer will affect the performance as well.
But here is an approximate estimation of what to expect out of your amaryllis bulb sizing:
26/28 cm-1 stalk (occasionally 2) with 3-4 blooms
28/30 cm-1-2 stalks with 3-4 blooms per stalk
30-32 cm-2 stalks with 4-5 blooms per stalk
32/34 cm-2 stalks (occasionally 3) with 4-5 blooms
34/36 cm-3 stalks with 4-5 blooms per stalk
If you like the dramatic reds for those holiday summer parties, feast your eyes on these two: The (duh nar us) Daenery's Double Dragon and the Red Lion. Both are 28/30 cm and come with three bulbs in a pack. These both grow 20-26" tall and will bloom about 7-9 weeks after planting. Plant them in the landscape beds, borders, or containers outside. And best of all, if you fight with deer, they are not a favorite of deer and rodents.
If you like a bit of contrast, here are two you'll love: the Double Flowering Dancing Queen and the Red & White Star Minerva. Dancing Queen has more white with red candy-stripes, and ruffled margins. Minerva has more red with white centers that look like a star. If you're giving a gift, this one is named after the Goddess of Wisdom, so give it to your strong, wise friend as a tribute!
If you favor pastels, the next one is an extra-large salmon pink named Rosalie. Don't you love that name? It looks like someone painted slight brushstrokes of salmon on the petals. The blossom's throat is a lime-green, which is a vibrant contrast to set off the stamens. Rosalie grows a tad bit shorter to 18", so this one would be nice on a dining room table or on a coffee table to enjoy inside for 2-3 months.
Best time to Plant Amaryllis Outdoors
If you're wanting to plant them outdoors, check your planting zone for the last frost date or go to livelyroot.com to help with this. Generally, it’s when the soil temps are at 70°F in late spring or early summer, and after the last frost, it's time to plant!
To measure your soils temp, take a meat thermometer and stick into the ground. Wait about five minutes and then check. If a thermometer isn't available, wait for 2-3 weeks until the daytime temperatures are consistently into the 70's before planting.
Or if you just can't wait, you can get a head start of about 2-3 weeks by planting in grower pots and keep indoors or a greenhouse until time for the big reveal. Then, when the soil is warm, you can transfer them outside. It's up to you!
Outdoor Planting for Amaryllis
If you plant them outside, find a place in the garden that gets partial shade (4-6 hours of morning sun; and afternoon shade so that it won't burn the leaves).
They need well-draining soil, so if yours is heavy and compact like mine, you'll need to add compost to the soil to make it aerated and fluffy.
Plant it, so the top 1/3 of the bulb is exposed above the soil's surface. If you're planting in a grouping, we recommend placing them 12-15 inches apart in odd number groupings like 3, 5, 7, 9 for a greater impact. And it just looks more natural that way, like they're in a drift.
Let the top 2" of soil dry but be careful. Keep on a consistent watering schedule if it doesn't rain. Don't let it get too dry and deplete your blooms. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy during the growing season. We recommend getting our 3 in 1 moisture meter and check the soil's moisture before watering each time.
After the leaves appear, fertilize once a month throughout the growing season. Use a 0-10-10 bloom boosting fertilizer and water in.
As the flowers fade, you'll want to clip them off, so they don't use energy in making seeds and the energy stays in the bulb.
For indoor planting use, a 2-inch larger pot than the bulb is wide. Place a few inches of soil in the bottom of the pot and then cover up the same amount as if planting outside; covering 2/3 of the bulb. You can top dress it with some decorative moss or glass beads to compliment the flower's color.
Water it and let the water drain thoroughly. You'll want to keep the soil consistently moist as it blooms but allow the top of the soil to dry between watering’s.
After the leaves appear, fertilize once a month throughout the growing season with a 0-10-10 bloom boosting fertilizer and water in as we would if they were outside in your garden.
You'll want to place it in bright, indirect light and keep the temps in your home around 70-75°F.
Once the flowers are spent, you can remove the whole flower stalk down to the base and set them out on a covered porch if you want to treat it like any other indoor plant after it warms up to the 70s.
Planting tips for Amaryllis:
If planting inside, to make a longer show of these gorgeous blooms, stagger the planting time out, so you have each bulb blooming on varied weeks and not all at once! Or plant several bulbs together for a ‘fireworks’ show of sorts on your dining table!
We hope you're looking forward to planting these gorgeous amaryllises. If you've never tried these before, you're going to really enjoy the vibrant colors they bring to your garden space and indoors.
You get a lot of bang for your buck with these! Head over to our bulb page and pick out your favorites and order.
Then, send us a picture of your Amaryllis on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #livelyroot so we can see where you are displaying yours!
If you have any questions about your bulbs or other plants, email us at support@LivelyRoot.com or ask in the comments below.
Watch Lively Roots resident plant whisperer: Miss Debbie on how to plant your Amaryllis Bulbs below!