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Amaryllis Provides Winter Color Indoors

The amaryllis is a tender bulb that won't survive outdoors, even in the mildest of Indiana winters.


But, it can be grown indoors to provide a dramatic show of color during dreary winter months. Showy flowers range in color from crimson, scarlet, rose, lavender and white to bi-colored combinations. Although each plant may only produce one cluster of two to four blooms, each can reach up to 8 inches in diameter during peak of bloom. The flowers are borne on a tall, stout stem about 2 feet tall. Amaryllis is easy to care for, but may require a little special handling to get them to re-bloom next year. Cool temperatures - about 55-65 degrees F - and a sunny window are most conducive to a sturdy bloom. Weak stems may need to be staked. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil begins to dry, then allow the soil to dry again before re-watering. Too-frequent watering can cause the bulb to rot. Flowering should begin in about 6 to 8 weeks. After the flower fades, you can cut the flower stalk off, but the plant's health is just as important now if re-blooming is desired. Water and fertilize as you would other houseplants, and place it near a sunny window. When all danger of frost is past in the spring, you can plunge the pot into the soil outdoors in a east - or west - facing location. Late in summer as the leaves begin to yellow, gradually cut back on watering until the leaves fade completely and the soil is dry. The bulb is now dormant and should be left in the pot and stored in a cool, dark location at about 40-55 degrees F. Amaryllis do not require a chilling period like many other flowering bulbs, but they do require a period of cool, dry dormancy. After about two months of rest, water the soil, set the pot in a sunny window, and resume normal care.

--from Plants and Pests, Purdue University 
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Revised:  January 01, 2018