by Cindy O’Quinn
Somervell County Master Gardener
The United States imports over ten million amaryllis bulbs every year from Holland and South Africa. Growing Christmas amaryllis is a fun and easy way to add colorful blooms to your holiday décor! The bulbs are readily available at local gardening stores or online. You will need to plan on planting them between the middle of October and the first of November for blooming during the holidays.
You will need a six to eight inch pot, some good potting soil, and your bulb. Plant the bulb with point up with about 2/3 of the bulb in the soil. Water the pot so that the soil is good and wet but not soggy. Place the pot so that it gets indirect sun and keep it moist. Once the stalk grows to about two inches keep it watered well. When your blooms open you will need to add a stake for support and keep it out of the sun to prolong the blooms. You can enjoy your Christmas amaryllis in the pot or use them as cut flowers.
After the holidays you can save your bulb for next year. You will need to cut the flower stalk one inch above the bulb but leave the leaves as these will feed the the bulb over the next several months. Water and feed your plant until the first of August. At this time let the pot dry out completely and the leaves will die back. After it is completely dry remove the bulb from the pot and store it in a cool and dark spot for about eight weeks. Now you are ready to plant it again and enjoy another year of beautiful blooms