Procedure for moving Amaryllis from garden to indoors for Christm

leftynh6(6)August 24, 2010

I moved (downsized) in April. I unpotted a couple of 'big box' bulbs that had been kept inside and growing since last Christmas and planted them in a raised bed garden. They have done well and have seven leaves each.

How, and on what schedule do I start dormancy? How do I maintain dormancy. When should I repot for Christmas bloom?

I live in coastal NH so bulbs would be safe in garden till mid Oct. if schedule dictates.

Many thanks,


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Hi, Lefty, I just down the street from you in Coastal MA! I have about 10 bulbs that were just about throw-aways late this spring no roots or leaves so out of desperation, I pulled them out of their pots and planted them all in a whiskey barrel and they all came to life and have grown these huge fantastic leaves! So.....I will be pulling them out just before the first frost hits, but for you you may need to pull them out earlier if you want them to bloom for Christmas. I believe they need 8-10 weeks of dormancy in a cool (around 55 degree) basement.

When I pull them up, I usually have mostly dead leaves, but in your case you leaves probably will still be green, I wash off the soil, I cut the roots in half as you probably will have a mop head of roots and I lay them out of the sun in the garage for how ever ever long it takes for the leaves to die off naturally. I never cut off the leaves until they have died naturally.......and this may take a few weeks. After the brown leaves have been removed, I peal the outer skin off the make sure there aren't any critters hiding. I them give them a light dusting of Captan, (optional) and put them in onion bags and then in a brown paper bag for their dormant time in the basement. Of course, at this time also, you'll check them for any signs of rot, which you cut out and again treat with Captan. I let them dry for another few days in the house and then I put them in their onion bags for storage. You want to make sure they are totally dry before you pack them away......

You can start checking in about 8 weeks to see if there are any buds poking up and if so then you can pot them up. Now these bulbs are all on their own timetable so they may or may not bloom for you for the Holidays.

If you pull them out of the ground in mid Oct and we haven't had a frost yet (which is unlikely) then you'd have to wait a few more weeks for the leaves to die off naturally and that brings you up to Nov. Not enough time to get you flowers when you want them.
After all this, my sure fired advice to you would be to buy new bulbs for Christmas and let these bulbs bloom when they feel like it......nothing like a cheery flower in the Jan or Feb!!

Hope I didn't just confuse you more,


    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 11:29AM
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I really don't know if what I say below will work for you, but it worked for me for three consecutive years and I'm going to try it again this year.
Actually for Chirstmas time 2007, 2008, and 2009, here was what I did.
1/ Around early September, I unpotted the plants that have at least 6 healthy leaves, cut off all the leaves but left a "neck" of about 2inches, and wash off the soil from the roots but left the roots intact;
2/ I hung the bulbs upside down to dry in the shade for about a week;
3/ I wrapped the bulbs, now dry, in newspaper and placed them in the vegetable compartment in my fridge for 8 weeks to "sleep";
4/ After the 8 weeks "dormancy", I brought the bulbs out, removed all the dried roots but left the healthy, whitish ones then placed the bulbs on top of glasses of water, to hydrate the good roots for a day (This is called "Maria's soak" by other members on this forum back then.) I took care not to let the basal plates touch the water.
5/ After a day sucking water, the whitish roots looked good then I planted the bulbs in good potting mix and waited for the scapes to show. Before planting, I watered the mix well. After planting, I placed the pots in a bright area and kept the mix moist. When I planted the bulbs, I only burried the bulbs to about 2/3.
6/ Within a short time thereafter, I would see scapes and new leaves from the bulbs. For the past two years, I would have blooms on the bulbs around the 5th week after replanting. The whole "procedures" took around 14 weeks, and I used this time to "back count" the date I wanted the blooms to appear.

The above steps were what Maria (from Virginia) shared with me. I hope they work for you, too.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 10:30PM
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