Beginner's Question: Amaryllis help!
First, I hardly have a green thumb - but I've started planting bulbs at our home in Upstate NY with some success and have several green plants in our Manhattan apartment that are growing by leaps and bounds. My husband refers to them as my jungle because I really don't know how to do much more than feed and water them. So excuse me for sounding silly. Here is my question:
About three years ago - around the Christmas holidays - I received a lovely Amaryllis in a plastic container that had been a gift a newly married couple gave to all their guests. This was a leftover. We enjoyed a lovely bloom that year (about three flowers) and then it faded away. In the back of my mind, I remembered hearing - let it die back. So, I stopped watering it for a while and cut off the dead leaves. Eventually, (a few months later - maybe a year), for some reason I started to water it again and was rewarded with lovely long (I mean REALLY long - about 3 feet long)green leaves - no blooms. I transferred the plant to a nice ceramic pot with stones at the bottom for ventillation. The new pot was just a little bigger than the plastic thing the Amaryllis cam in. I always felt the plastic container it came in was squeezing the bulb too much. We continued like this for the next two years (long, long green leaves - no bloom) until I started renovating my kitchen and had to move all the plants to our bedroom. Well, the long leaves were just too cumbersome and I didn't have room for the plant. So, sadly, I held my breath and cut off the perfectly good (live!) green leaves and took the stubby, large bulb in the pretty ceramic pot into the bedroom. I thought it would just die there. Lo and behold - a week later a huge, HUGE shoot with a flower appeared - actually, when it opened we had FOUR large red/orange trumpets unfurl and a middle flower that has yet to open but I think will now that the others have wilted. ALSO another shoot has appeared and is growing up!! Lots of foliage around it. This has been really exciting!
My question is, now what do I do? I snapped off two of the wilted trumpet flowers but don't know if I should have done that. Once all the blooms are gone on a stalk - do I cut it down to the base of the bulb or do I simply let it die down? (I had to put a stake into the pot to help keep it up and do turn the pot a little each morning.) When you answer me, please give me very basic, a. b. c. directions. I really don't know what people mean when they say, just cut it back. Cut back to where? How? When? I really don't want to kill this beautiful bulb. HELP!!!