Amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.) that have outgrown their containers benefit from transplanting, and container plants can be transplanted outdoors after flowering. Because amaryllis are only hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, they are often grown as houseplants in colder USDA zones. Amaryllis can stay in the same containers for several years but must be transplanted to larger containers when the bulbs fill the available space. Faded amaryllis can be planted into the garden in frost-free zones, where they grow as perennial bulbs.
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The best time for transplanting amaryllis into a new container is late fall or winter, at least 8 weeks after the foliage has died down.
Containers for amaryllis should be 1 to 2 inches wider than the base of the bulb, and they should have drainage holes. Amaryllis flower best in containers that slightly restrict their roots. Transplant one amaryllis bulb into one container.
Transplanting into Containers
Spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of freely draining, sterilized potting soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 over the base of a new container.
You can make your own potting soil from equal parts sterilized peat and perlite.
Remove the amaryllis bulb from its old container.
Break off the potting soil from around the bulb.
Place the bulb in the new container.
Fill in the gaps around the bulb with potting soil, leaving the top one-half to one-third of the bulb exposed.
Pour water slowly over the potting soil until it flows through the drainage holes.
Don't pour water over the top of the bulb. Keeping the bulb tip dry helps prevent fungal diseases from infecting the plant.
Place the potted amaryllis in a bright area of the home that receives at least four hours of direct sunlight every day. You can also set the container in dappled shade outdoors in USDA zones 8 through 10. In colder zones, you can place amaryllis in containers outdoors after the last average frost date in spring.
Water the amaryllis bulb when the potting soil surface is dry, which is usually about once per week. Flowering amaryllis may need more water more often.
Selecting Growing Spots
Amaryllis thrive in organically rich, freely draining soil and bright shade outdoors, such as under trees. These bulbs grow in heavy shade but flower poorly in such places, and in sunny spots the leaves turn yellow. The best time for transplanting amaryllis outdoors in USDA zones 8 through 10 is winter. In colder zones, transplant amaryllis outdoors after the final average local frost date in spring.
Transplanting into the Ground
Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of peat, compost or other organic matter over the growing spot, and evenly sprinkle a slow-release 6-6-6 fertilizer at a rate of about 3 1/4 ounces per 10 square feet.
Mix the organic matter and fertilizer into the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches with a garden fork.
Dig a hole two-thirds as deep and 1 1/2 times as wide as the amaryllis bulb with a trowel.
Place the bulb in the hole, and fill in the gaps with dug soil so that the top one-third of the bulb is uncovered.
Plant other amaryllis bulbs in the same way, spaced 12 to 15 inches apart.
Water the plants to moisten the soil to the depth of the bulbs. Water again when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 inch.