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When Christmas comes and goes, most of us will be happy to see the back of that overplayed, over-commercialized period. But not you – not if you bought an amaryllis as a house plant. Because this is one plant that makes every other Christmas plant look like second-best. An amaryllis is quite possibly the very best Christmas plant ever – but only if you know how to care for it properly and keep it alive long enough to enjoy it again next year! Read on for everything you need to know about keeping your beautiful Amaryllis happy…and coming back from winter vacation again and again.
Why You Should Care for Your Amaryllis, Even If You Only Have It for One Month Out of the Year
Amaryllis plants are beautiful as indoor plants all year round, but they are traditionally associated with Christmas. When you buy a Christmas Amaryllis, it’s in flower and ready to be planted in the house. And if you follow the correct plant care instructions, it will bloom again next year. A lot of people buy amaryllis bulbs as a gift for loved ones. They are a little unusual and have a great wow factor when they flower. The recipient will be delighted with the gift and it will last all year as a reminder of who gave it to them. You don’t have to give your amaryllis away, though. They are very easy to grow indoors, and they make great house plants. They are quite stunning when they flower and smell wonderful too. They are very easy to care for and don’t consume much water or fertilizer.
Repotting an Amaryllis
You can plant your amaryllis in any type of pot that will hold the bulb’s weight, but a clay pot is ideal as it will be porous enough for the bulb to benefit from being in contact with the soil. You can repot an amaryllis after it has finished flowering, but it is best to do this in the spring. Cut away the old soil around the bulb and make sure the new soil is loose, but not so loose that air can’t get to the bulb. There are no specific rules governing when to repot an amaryllis. However, you should always be guided by the fact that the bulb should remain at the same level in the soil that it was at when it was in the original pot. Whilst having the bulb just above the level of the soil is good for it when it is growing, having the bulb at the same level as the soil when it is resting will be very bad for it.
The Importance of Light When Caring for an Amaryllis
Although you can keep your amaryllis in low light conditions while it is dormant, it will benefit from being placed in bright light conditions when it flowers. It needs at least 12 hours of direct sunlight a day. Bright, indirect sunlight is ideal. If you want to grow your amaryllis as a house plant, sow the seeds in early spring in a greenhouse and then keep them in the warmer parts of the house until midsummer. At this point, you can either pot them up for bringing inside later or plant them in a sunny position outside.
Watering an Amaryllis
While you can water your amaryllis less often than other flowering plants, you should avoid being stingy with the water. When you water your amaryllis, you should soak the soil thoroughly, but don’t keep it too wet. Water your amaryllis when the top inch of soil is dry. If you water it less often, you can make up for the lower amount of water by watering it more thoroughly. If your amaryllis’s soil is too dry, it won’t be able to take up nutrients from the soil. The best time to water your amaryllis is after it has been flowering for about a month. After that point, the flowers’ roots will die off, which will make it easier for your amaryllis to absorb water from the soil. However, you should avoid watering it before then, as the water will cause the soil to become too wet, which can lead to root rot. Christmas Amaryllis
How to Care for Your Christmas Amaryllis During Winter
To keep your amaryllis alive during winter, you should move it to a spot that gets bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil lightly moist and feed it every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer. If the leaves are browning or curling, your amaryllis could be getting too little light. Keep it away from drafty windows and try moving it to a brighter spot. If the leaves are droopy, the plant is likely too dry. Water it more frequently and you should see an improvement soon. At the end of winter, you can bring your amaryllis back to the spot where you usually keep it. If your amaryllis is blooming indoors, be sure to keep it away from pets and children. The flowers are poisonous to cats and dogs, though they are not dangerous to humans.
Amaryllis bulbs make excellent gifts for many occasions, including Christmas and New Year’s. They are easy to care for and can be kept for years. They make excellent additions to any room. Depending on where you live, you can plant an amaryllis bulb at any time of the year. In warmer areas, they can be planted as soon as the danger of frost has passed. In colder areas, they can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked. If you want to enjoy your amaryllis as a house plant, though, you should buy it while it’s still in flower. It’s best to buy it as close to Christmas as possible.