Can I reuse an Amaryllis after it blooms?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAJanuary 13, 2010

I have a white one that is just finishing flowering. I am wondering if I can save it for next year? If so, do I just allow the foliage to whither like spring bulbs and should I plant it outdoors for the summer and bring indoors in the fall? I assume you cut back the flower stalk as soon as it finishes flowering?

Thanks :-)

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rredbbeard(SE CT USA/zone 6)

Many people here save their seeds, sometimes to trade or just experiment with. There are a ton of posts on this site on how to manage your new plant, but basically, continue growing it in as much light as you can, at normal room temperature. Fertilize it regularly, and when the weather warms up at end of May you can even put it outside for the summer. If you keep the seedpods on the plant, after a couple of months when they mature, the pods will start to yellow and crack, and you will find lots of paper thin, black seeds inside. If the leaves start to fade, place the entire pot in a cool, dark area such as a basement, and let the plant go dormant for at least 6-8 weeks without water. Then clean up the bulb, repot it and restart the growing cycle.

Welcome to the amaryllis forum! You may find this to be an addictive hobby!

--Rick in CT

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 3:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Rick...well you've surprised me. I am wondering how I get a seed pod if the plant was growing indoors without any pollinators? I would actually enjoy experimenting with seeds. But it would have to have a high probability of germinating, to tempt me to put up with the dying flowers and flower stalk for very long. Thanks for the help. I will check out the forum posts for more information. I didn't even remember to see if there were FAQ.

Thanks! Sounds like you are enjoying growing them.. :-)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 3:46PM
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rebecca47(USA Zone 5)

HIppies seem to produce a preponderance of powdery pollen that is easily dislodged and known to be carried by air currents onto the pistols of the flowers where pollination occurs. Some hippies are self fertile (meaning that can fertilize themselves and set viable seeds), others are not.

It does take a couple of month for the pods to develop and ripen and the seeds should be sown as soon as possible after the pod splits as viability does not last very long. I have stored seed in the fridge in an air tight container and gotten 50% germination rate after 2 months.

Seed is sow directly on top of pre-moistened potting mix that is kept moist by bottom watering. Seed can also be sprouted by floating them on water and then carefully pricking the tiny seedlings out and planting them. Once the seeds are sown and germinated some bottom heat is helpful. Seedlings are keep growing until at least their second full season and only then allowed to rest if they begin to go dormant - some do and some don't.

It can take as long as four years from seed to first flowers or as quick as 2 years. The offspring from a selfed plant will most likely NOT look like the parent as it is a hybrid and has a hundred years or more of hybridizing in it's heritage and whenever hybrid plants produce seed the genome is mixed and something new and/or different can come to the surface and be reviled!

It IS FUN and EXCITING, but one needs patience! It IS worth the wait though!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 4:53PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, it does sound exciting. I think it would be fun to see a seed turn into one of those huge bulbs. Great. I will try to keep this plant alive for starters. [g] And watch for the seed pods to develop. Thanks very much :-)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 5:45PM
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I just pollinated one of mine last week.

I wait for the stigma to seperate into the 3 sticky stigma before I take the anthers and dust with pollen. I also take pollen from the anther of one bloom and dust the stigma of others ( because I heard it makes stronger seed ) the blooms fade within 2 - 3 days after you pollinate them and I don't remove the drying blooms, waiting for them to dry up in place and fall off.

We plant the seeds in a 'community' tray for the first 1 ~ 2 years, then put them in seperate pots. I also let the seedlings dry out between waterings ( similar to Jade and Kalanchoe plants )


    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 9:02AM
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betonklotz(7b Baltic Sea coast)

"I also take pollen from the anther of one bloom and dust the stigma of others ( because I heard it makes stronger seed )"

Sorry, but this isn't true if the other bloom is from the same bulb or a clone of this bulb, it won't change anything. The genetic code is exactly the same so no offense to you but this won't have an effect.
Or did I understood you wrong? If you're taking pollen from another variety or perhaps the same one but of another plant that was propagated via seeds, than what you're saying should be true ... most of the time.
Cross-pollinating is really interesting, I'd recommend everyone not to self your flowers since even then the result may vary strongly from the mother- (and father-)plant.

@prairiemoon: Keep your mature plant in the brightest spot your have at home, fertilize with a small amount of fertilizer with every watering. Be aware of overwatering, let the soil dry out nearly completely before watering again. The plant will produce more and more leaves over the year. You can either bring your plant outside when the weather is getting nice, there is a chance that it will flower again due to the colder temperatures at night.

If you haven't got a bright spot in your garden, leave the plant on the windowsill for the whole year. There you'll also see the leaves dieing back when the days get shorter. Either you'll cut them down when the substrate is completely dry and store the plant with the pot in a colder spot. Or you'll leave it on the windowsill and care for it for the whole winter. With the first possibility chances are higher that you'll get blooms after the dormancy, but the second one also works fine.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 9:32AM
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To answer the original question; I'd put the bulb in the brightest light I could and fertilize it. Put it outside and keep fertilizing. Use a fertilizer with low nitrogen content. Most fertilizers promoting blooms will do. Let it go dormant if it wants to. Flower buds form between every three to five leaves.

The comment that flowers on the same stalk will be genetically identical is ordinarily true. However, there may be a mutation in one flower bud and not in the others. I have a feeling that I get better fertilization results using pollen from another flower on the same stalk, but that's just a feeling. In making between plant crosses, I cut the anthers off the flower I am going to pollinate so there is no question which pollen did the job.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 2:42PM
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Post bloom care for a Hippeastrum bulb, commonly know as Amaryllis, includes a high light situation, allowing the soil to dry out before thoroughly watering again, and feeding your bulb with an all purpose plant food.

A bloom fertilizer isn't necessary, and is basically a waste. There's some great information regarding fertilizers and how NPK all affect each other on the Container Gardening Forum... very educational reading.

I grow my bulbs indoors, and I treat them like houseplants. I give them as much natural light as possible, supplemented with extra lights. I feed them with an all purpose liquid fertilizer at about 1/3 to 1/4 strength, every time I water. I occasionally leach the pots in the kitchen sink to prevent salt and mineral buildup. The natural bloom time for a Hippeastrum bulb is right around spring time. I don't force a dormancy on my bulbs, preferring instead to allow them their rest and bloom on their schedule.

I am simply observant, and when they begin to lose leaves in fall to rest, I water them less. When new leaves begin growing, or the bulb sends up scapes, I water a bit more. I am careful to allow the soil to dry between waterings, checking the soil carefully down at root level to feel for moisture.

Hippeastrum bulbs can be grown a few different ways... and the only hard and fast rules are... do not allow them to freeze, and do not over water.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something... all the information necessary to successfully grow these bulbs can be found right here, within the forum... for information on soils and fertilizers, do a bit of reading in the Container Gardening Forum.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 8:41PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thank you all for continuing to add more information to my question. I have gained something from each post. I just checked my plant this morning and I see at least one large pod developing at the base of a dying flower. How fun! I would never have noticed it if someone on the Bulbs forum hadn't told me about this forum. Now if I can just not kill it. [g]

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 1:44PM
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You're most welcome! Please don't hesitate to visit often and ask any questions you may have... everyone here is great, and very generous with help!

Keep us informed... we'd love to see photos of your blooms!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:44AM
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The timing of this thread is so serendipitous!

I love garden web! Whenever I have a new gardening question, I am almost always guaranteed threads pertaining to my question and always guaranteed excellent information.

A school volunteer whom my daughters call "Teacher Grandma" (because she is 84 and volunteers everyday at the school) gave me an amaryllis last spring because she knows I love to garden.

I had no idea what to do with it. A quick check here last spring, and I just placed it in a pot out in my yard and brought it inside in September.

Right now, I have one single stalk that looks about to flower.

I am concerned that maybe I have over watered--I water about once a week if I remember. What sort of fertilizer is good? Are there more organic fertilizer suggestions? I have fish emulsion.

I would really like to keep this bulb going for sentimental reasons, as Teacher Grandma is such a special person and presence in my daughters' school.

I hope this isn't thread hijacking. I apologize in advance if it is.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 11:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Norabelle.....not a problem at all, I am happy for you to get the information you need too.

jodik, thanks I will try to get a photo and post soon... :-)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 2:05PM
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There are great differences of opinion on this... but my advice is to save organic gardening techniques for the garden, and go with an all purpose liquid fertilizer for your potted plants.

The fact is, there are huge differences between gardening in the ground, and gardening within the confines of a container.

The garden has armies of microscopic critters, bacterias, fungi, worms and nematodes, and a plethora of other creatures that quickly break down any organic matter into usable food for plants, and they all work in harmony to maintain a balance of good and bad bacterias, fungi, etc...

This same microscopic world does not exist within a container... nor can one be adequately maintained and balanced.

Therefore, it is best to garden organically in the garden... and use a more inorganic approach to potted plants.

I currently use Miracle Gro all purpose liquid plant food. I dilute it to about 1/4 strength, and I water with this every time I give water... this keeps my plants on a low dose constant feeding, which is how they'd get their food naturally, as things decomposed. I plan on switching to Foliage Pro when I get the chance... I just have to use up the Miracle Gro bottle first.

Surprisingly, Hippeastrum bulbs prefer to be treated almost like succulents... they prefer to dry out in between thorough waterings. They hate "wet feet".

I hope this answers your feeding questions... good luck with your bulb!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 6:35PM
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Thanks, prairiemoon2, and thank you, Jodi, for the information about the fertilizer and types of fertilizer. Since I only have gardened outside, your explanation about the container makes sense. I will go looking for liquid plant food this week. Thank you!

The bulb is just about to flower. So far, the colors I see are red with some white. Exciting!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 10:50AM
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Red & Whites are always exciting colors... Minerva is one of my all time favorites! Clown is another beauty in the red and white category!

It's my pleasure to help! :-)

While Foliage Pro is considered to be one of the best fertilizers available, according to the experts I've spoken to, any all purpose liquid plant food with an NPK of 12-4-8 or equivalent will do the trick.

Most stores carry Miracle Gro or Schultz, or Hyponex... as long as the numbers match fairly well, you're in business. So, don't fret if you can't locate something exact. Any all purpose liquid will do a decent job.

Just remember to dilute it well... about 1/4 strength... and feed this on a regular basis, every time you water. This will be immediately usable to the plant, and it most closely emulates how Nature would feed your plants if they were grown in the ground; on a constant low dose basis.

Can't wait to see a picture of your blooms!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 4:11PM
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betonklotz(7b Baltic Sea coast)

This isn't the perfect place for my question but I didn't want to open a new thread for it.

My Picotee is about to bloom and today I must have walked against the flower stake after putting it on the floor when I opened my windows to air the room.
It didn't break but I can see a little bend and am afraid that it may flip over once the heavy blooms are fully developed.
What would you do? Roll an handkerchief around the spot and fix it with tape?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 5:35PM
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Yes, and put a wooden stake there, too, for support. I think if it's not broken, it could sort of fix itself and become strong, but I would stake it to be sure. Sorry to hear this. I've done this, too... it happens.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 7:21AM
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betonklotz(7b Baltic Sea coast)

I guess the chances are relatively low that it would actually break, but I want to make sure ...
The dend (I don't know how to call it else) is really close to the opening buds ... but I think I've got a longer stake somewhere here, thanks.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 7:53AM
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Here are a couple pics of my amaryllis that started blooming.

Thank you for all of the help with care and feeding. When the soil drys more, I will fertilize. I also want to put it in a better,drier medium, since it's in a potting soil. I will do this after it finishes flowering, yes?


    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 11:56PM
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yaslan(8 WA state)

I was given an amaryllis bulb and am not quite sure what to do with it. Do I give it fertilizer right away or wait? Here's what mines looks like. It's starting to turn a yellowish green but also looks like there's some burn streaks on it too.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 12:21AM
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I thought I might bump this as it had a lot of good useful information in it. As I see it we were all newbies at one point.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:34PM
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growlove(zone4 Ia.)

I have 5 bulbs that have bloomed each winter for the last 4 years. I move the pots outside in the summer to a partially shaded area. I fertilize them once a month with miracle grow. Mid Aug. I turn the pots over and let them dry. Before a frost, I bring them in and give them a little drink and they soon start sending up leaves and a bloom spike. I have repotted them once or twice over the years. I have found that the blooms last longer when picked and placed in a vase than on the plant.Mary

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:36PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thank you Devonfawn and Mary for bumping it up and for the added information. I had forgotten about this thread and it is a great reminder! :-)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:16AM
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I'd like to add a piece of information, if I could...

Mainly for those who take their potted bulbs outside for summer... it's a good idea to learn if the Narcissus Bulb Fly lives in your area, and if it does, use a preventative systemic in the soil while your bulbs are summering outdoors.

Even though I grow most of my bulbs indoors, I somehow had the NBF enter my home... whether through a new bulb addition, or through a pot I brought in and out, or even through an open door or window screen crack... and I lost a good portion of my collection to this pest.

Hippeastrum bulbs are one of the NBF's favorite meals, next to Daffodils, and they can destroy a good collection in short order, before you realize they are even present.

It's prudent to do a bit of research on the NBF, learn what they are and what damage they can do, and use a preventative insecticide to help avoid any loss to this pest.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 5:27PM
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I did not know you could keep a Amaryllis going all winter! I thought you had to give it a rest to get more blooms, do you think I could repot mine and it will still bloom in time for the holidays? Or should I just leave it the way it is until December?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:08PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Repot it in early November and it could bloom for you at Christmas. Now you know how long it takes...maybe the waiting will be easier!!?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Many if not all amaryllis will grow like houseplants if given the chance.
Some will lose all but one leaf but that single leaf will remain green and, some will retain most all of their leaves and grow slowly through the winter months.

In the case of amaryllis bulbs growing like evergreens, the bulb will bloom when it feels like it which is most likely not when you would want it to but it will bloom.

If you had asked earlier before you pulled it from the pot and cut the leaves someone might have suggested that you just bring it in when the weather got cold and let it continue to grow. It most likely would not have bloomed for the holidays but you could always buy another bulb for Christmas and your Red Lion will surprise you with flowers when you least expect it, maybe next Spring or even Summer...

Also, if you've got your bulb in a large enough pot and it appears by the amount of roots you have that yours was, you can leave the bulb in the pot for several years. Three years is a good average but I'm ashamed to admit that I have some bulbs that have been in the same pot for 4 or 5 years with offsets and most often they still manage to bloom.

Sorry if I overloaded you with advice...


    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 2:11PM
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