To bring a bit of cheer indoors during the dreary winter months, gardeners easily can grow bulbs inside their homes. For beautiful, exotic-looking flowers, the amaryllis is a natural choice. Showstopping, star-shaped blooms appear on stalks from 1 1/2 to 3 feet tall in a dazzling array of color combinations. Caring for your amaryllis bulb properly after the blooms fade is essential to preserving its beauty for another growing season.
Once the amaryllis has flowered and the lovely blooms begin to die away, cut back the flower stalk to within 1 inch of the soil line. Do not remove the leaves, which will continue to feed the bulb throughout the dormant season.
Place the amaryllis in a window where it will receive full sun for most of the day. This encourages bulb development.
Water to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, throughout the growing period.
Fertilize with a complete indoor plant fertilizer once to twice per month, ensuring the soil is moist prior to granule or liquid application.
After the summer months of bulb growth and feeding, reblooming may occur if certain steps are followed. Choose a place with a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees Farhenheit and dim lighting to store the potted bulb, and stop all watering and fertilization. This cooling period prepares the amaryllis for the flowering cycle. When 10 weeks have passed, a small green shoot at the top of the bulb is a signal to move the pot to a sunny window sill in an area where temperatures will hit 70 to 75 degrees. Old foliage may be removed at this time, and watering resumed. The last step is to turn the pot twice a week to encourage a strong, straight stalk.
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