How to Plant an Amaryllis Bulb

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An amaryllis bulb is best planted in a pot that is kept outside to bloom naturally in the fall, as it can handle temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Find out ways to grow amaryllis both inside and outside with helpful tips from a sustainable gardener in this free video on growing flowers.

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Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment I want to talk about how to plant an amaryllis bulb. Now you've got to remember that there are two families of plants that are called amaryllis. And if you want to go back in history Linnaeus has put them in the same family. And they're from two different regions and they need two different conditions. There's the South American amaryllis which actually, recently have been taken out of the amaryllis family and they're officially a hippeastrum. So they're really not an amaryllis right now. And then there's the South African amaryllis like the amaryllis belladonna, the nerine and the lycoris from Japan, they're all related. In the amaryllis belladonna they bloom in the fall and they're pink and they have really beautiful flowers that look like lilies. And they call them naked ladies because they have greenery that comes up and dies back. And then they bloom in the fall. Now you cannot force them at Christmas time. So the amaryllis belladonnas you can't just put in a pot and let them bloom in the Christmas time like you can with the South American amaryllis. So if you have a true amaryllis, the amaryllis belladonna, you cannot just put it in a pot and have it bloom at Christmas time. It does much better outside in a pot to bloom in the fall naturally. Or if you live in a mild climate. They can handle quite a lot of cold though. They can go down to at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit. So you can actually plant them or mulch them real well and they'll survive in pretty cold climates. And then they'll bloom in the fall. They have to be crowded to bloom so you need a few bulbs but they really, really get crowded and they bloom well. So now if you have a Christmas type blooming amaryllis which is actually the hippeastrum, then to plant them you want to put them in a pot. And you want to cover the bulb but leave any of the greenery right out. So it's just barely covered. And another thing that I recommend to do is put gravel or rocks or sticks on the bottom of your pots so that the dirt and the water doesn't just come right out. And then just fill it up about half way with some soil. And just put it in there. And then I just cover it up. Now the Christmas amaryllis or hippeastrum, too, you can put them right in bowls on top of gravel and a lot of times they'll come up and bloom, they don't even have to be in soil. Now the trick with them is to water them well but never let them sit in water. Because if they sit in water they'll eventually rot. They really want to dry out in between. So once you've planted your amaryllis, if it's the hippeastrum, the Christmas blooming variety, put it in a sunny window or under artificial light. And a lot of times even if it's on the kitchen table and it doesn't get a lot of light, as long as it's warm it'll come up and bloom. Because they're from a tropical area they like a lot of moisture. So you don't want to have a really dry area, you want to add some humidity. Sometimes putting them on rocks with some water gives them that extra moisture. And then that way they'll bloom at Christmas time. And then just keep them dry all summer long and you can start them again for the next Christmas. Or you can turn around and set them outside in the early summer and then they'll bloom every summer. And then you just keep them inside for the winter. So you can keep them on a rotation that way. Amaryllis are a great addition to your inside and outside garden. And if you live in a mild climate you can leave them outside year round. If you live in a cold, cold climate just bring them inside for the winter and have them bloom inside for Christmas.


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